Mon, April 19, 2010
Sci-Tech > Science > Iceland volcano chaos

Iceland volcano activity increases

2010-04-17 09:04:30 GMT2010-04-17 17:04:30 (Beijing Time)

The volcano in southern Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier sends ash into the air just prior to sunset Friday, April 16, 2010. Thick drifts of volcanic ash blanketed parts of rural Iceland on Friday as a vast, invisible plume of grit drifted over Europe, emptying the skies of planes and sending hundreds of thousands in search of hotel rooms, train tickets or rental cars. (AP Photo/Brynjar Gauti)

A geologist says activity has increased at an erupting Icelandic volcano, causing an ash plume to rise some 8.5 kilometers (5.3 miles) into the air.

Magnus Tumi Gudmundsson of the University of Iceland says winds have cleared visibility for scientists and Saturday will be the first day they can fly above the volcano to assess the activity.

Once scientists determine how much ice has melted, it will be easier to say how long the eruption could last.

An ash plume that has disrupted travel across Europe has been caused by hot magma being cooled quickly by the melting ice cap.

Gudmundsson says as long as there is enough ice, more plumes could form — causing even more travel disruption.


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