Smoke and steam hang over the volcano under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier on April 14. Volcanic ash drifting across the Atlantic forced the cancellation of flights in Britain and disrupted air traffic across northern Europe, stranding thousands of passengers. (Jon Gustafsson/AP)
Men near Myrdalssandur, Iceland, wrap a house vent and windows in plastic film on April 16 2010 to prevent the entry of airborne volcanic particles and ash. Winds pushed the ash plume south and east, across Britain, Scandinavia, and into the heart of Europe. (Brynjar Gauti/AP)
Ice chunks carried downstream by floodwaters caused by volcanic activity melting glaciers lie on the Markarfljot river bed on 16 April 2010, 75 miles east of Reykjavik city. (Brynjar Gauti/AP)
Footprints left in volcanic ash by scientists visiting the Eyiafjoll area to collect samples. (Omar Oskarsson/AFP)
NASA’s Terra satellite captured the ash plume venting from Eyjafjallojokull volcano passing over the North Atlantic towards Britain and Scandinavia on 15 April 2010. (MODIS Rapid Response Team/NASA)
Meteosat false colour image which shows the spread of ash and volcanic particles in dark red spreading from Iceland out across Europe. The ash is travelling at up to 35’000 feet, forcing the closure of European airspace. (HO/AFP/Getty images)
A man stares at where a road used to be. Waters from the melting Eyjafjallojokull glacier over the volcanic eruption caused flash floods and washed away the road. (Halldor Kolbiens/AFP)
Volcanic plume billows from the erupting Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland on 14 April. (AFP/Getty)
As smoke, ash, lava and volcanic projectiles continue to be erupted, the Eyjafjallajokull area sees an increase in tourism to the area. Some visitors to the volcano said it was like going to a festival, the roads were so busy. This comes at a time when Iceland is in economic depression and still in its traditionally quiet tourism period so many locals see this as a timely benefit. Icelandic and international visitors were making the trek, some called it a pilgrimage – something you simply must see in your lifetime. (Halldor Kolbeins/Getty)
Tourists gather to watch the Fimmvorduhals volcano near Eyjafjallajokull. (Halldor Kolbeins/Getty)
The March 2010 eruption at Ejyafjallajokull, set to the side of the glacier itself. (Halldor Kobeins/Getty)
The March 21 2010 eruption at Ejyafjallajokull forced 600 people to evacuate. (Fiur Kjartansson)
What do these groups of people have in common?
Norwegian Prime Minister forced to run the country via his iPhone from New York
Student in Portsmouth unable to visit her mum in Spain
A florist in America worried that no flower deliveries from Kenya are arriving
Sick people in Ethiopia having to wait 4 days for medicines being flown from France
A young couple in London unable to get to their own wedding in Barbados
Gary Lineker driving 1200 miles to get to Match of The Day
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/37/Fimmvorduhals_2010_03_27_dawn.jpg As correct 18 th April 2010. Eyjafjallajokull eruption 2010
Where is Eyjafjallajokull? Volcano location Iceland UK
I’m in the UK, why do I care about some little volcano in Iceland?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fimmvorduhals_second_fissure_2010_04_02.JPG Iceland is located on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge on tectonic plates. These plates are moving apart – they are called constructive plates. As the plates pull apart magma can rise to the surface + form volcanoes. The latest eruption occurred under a glacier. The water cooled the lava quickly – led to massive gas, steam and glass particle clouds rising to 30000ft Tony Cassidy
Airspace closed across much of Europe since Thursday lunchtime. At least 17’000 flights a day were cancelled. Stock market shares in Air Travel and Tourism agencies have dropped 4%. The disruption is costing airlines more than $200 million a day. Grounded air cargo flights have stopped delivery of items such as microchips, food, flowers, medicines and mail. Increased use of Eurostar, train services ships and ferries Less demand for air fuel = 1.87million barrels of oil not needed = loss of money for oil industry = could lead to increase in petrol costs in UK Loss of some products (like fruit) to supermarket shelves Increased spending by people who are stranded in the UK – for hotels, food, etc. Health impacts – can cause respiratory problems as ash settles In Iceland – flash floods, damaged fields and homes, but increased tourism Could possibly trigger major eruption at Katla volcano
Why has this volcano had such a massive impact? Why might Iceland’s location have helped the eruption cause such disruption?
Volcanic ash can cause major damage to aircraft - even bring them out of the sky if engines fail. The particles in the cloud that are erupted are mostly microscopic bits of glass and ash that can easily melt onto jet engine parts, block air intake lines, damage windshields and scour aircraft bodies.
The eruption itself is actually quite small, but the cloud is so high (30’000ft) that it is at the same level as commercial aircraft and entered into international airspace.
Iceland’s location has increased the impacts – Iceland sits right in the middle of many air routes, and the eruption cloud has been blown south by winds and become trapped over Europe – the busiest airspace in the world is suddenly impossible to use.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Turbofan3_Unlabelled.gif The particles erode the fans of the engines. The aircraft is likely to be hit by lava. Ash blocks the ventilation system, causing the engines to overheat and shut down. Ash can add significant weight to the aircraft and change its balance. Glass in the plume melts and coats the internal parts of the engine. The particles can sandblast the windscreen making it difficult to land. Gases from the volcano could cause the pilots to pass out. Ash can cause damage to instruments that measure pressure and airspeed. Pilots are unable to navigate due to the poor visibility. Tony Cassidy
Damage to Finnish Air Force aircraft who flew into the ash cloud on 15 th April – just before the ban on flying.
Interconnectedness What does ‘interdependence’ and ‘interconnected’ mean? Why is the eruption an example of interconnection?
Use of social networking … Twitter feeds using hashtags for search engines so people who are stranded in different countries can find other people who might be travelling their way and share the journey
Personal experiences? How did people get home? From Rome to home on luck and instinct
“ I was due to be getting married in Barbados on Saturday. We were meant to fly out from Gatwick on Thursday night but it was cancelled. Now we don’t know when we can get married. We don’t even know if our insurance will pay out. We’re sleeping on a friend’s floor in London instead of sitting by a pool on our wedding day. My dream has gone up in smoke because of some volcano somewhere I haven’t even heard of.” (Sarah E, disappointed traveller from UK)
Oil producer No flights Less demand for oil for fuel 1.8million barrels of oil unused Seller loses money. Oil prices rise GCSE student on holiday in Dubai Produce a similar chain for one of these individuals (or think of your own). Disaster chains Customers in UK pay more A self-employed businessman in Germany A hotel owner in Iceland
The Eyjafjallajokull volcano could actually continue to erupt on and off for several months – last time it erupted it went on for a year!
And it could even trigger a bigger eruption of a larger volcano nearby called Katla. Historically, Katla follows on and erupts after Eyjafjallojokull erupts. An eruption there could trigger much more disruption than what's happening now.
But whether this affects Europe and the UK so much as it is today depends on the winds