Icelandic eruption

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Luca Leone
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A farm approximately 8km from the vent with steep hills above that may generate lahars (mudflows) during heavy rainfall.

Eyjafjallajökull volcano – ‘island mountain glacier’ in Icelandic – first reached European headlines in March 2010 when the photogenic effusive eruption began following nearly 200 years of quiescence. The volcano kept us transfixed for a further two months as the effusive eruption ceased and an explosive eruption began directly beneath the glacier. This explosive phase caused extensive disruption to air travel across western and northern Europe, giving a wake-up call to the aviation industry and European governments.

Eyjafjallajökull has slowly drifted from the headlines since the eruption stopped on 23 May; however the implications for scientific, political and industrial communities continue as they do for local Icelandic communities affected by the eruption.

In early May 2010, CAR associate Dr Susanna Jenkins, accompanied by Dr Peter Baxter from the University of Cambridge, visited areas in Iceland affected by the Eyjafjallajökull event to learn about the health effects of the eruption and to exchange information with colleagues in the University of Iceland, Nordic Volcanological Institute, Icelandic Meteorological Office, environmental health and air pollution departments.

Susanna was also interested in the impacts associated with the eruption and the emergency response associated with long duration continuous ash emissions. Further, the mission aimed to collect baseline data that may assist in the assessment of eruption impacts and recovery over time.

The resulting report reviews the impacts of the eruption on the local Icelandic population as well as highlighting issues associated with long-duration volcanic events.

Download CAR Report

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