Grimsvotn volcano in Iceland remains silent despite flood

Despite the flooding in the Gigjukvisl river in south Iceland this week, all appears calm under the Grimsvotn volcano at the moment. One or two small tremors have been measured there over the past couple of days, however, there has been no further signs of a possible eruption, according to

Thorunn Skaftadottir, a geologist working for The Icelandic Met Office (Veðurstofa Íslands), told yesterday that a number of small earthquakes have been recorded close to Krysuvik on the Reykjanes peninsula. The source of the earthquakes was about four kilometers deep; but activity is not uncommon in this area so these events could be unrelated.

The flooding came from an increase in run-off meltwater from the Vatnajokull ice cap, which suggested the possibility of an eruption. Due to the major disruptions caused to European air traffic in spring 2010 by the Eyjafjallajokull volcano eruption, this week’s flooding and talk of another possible eruption has made world news.

Grimsvotn last erupted in 2004 creating an ash cloud that caused some disruption to air travel, although not on the same scale as the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull. If Grimsvotn was to erupt, any further disruption to air traffic would depend on the size of the eruption, the amount of ash generated and also weather conditions.

However, after the experience and knowledge gained from the Eyjafjallajokull eruption, airlines and aviation authorities have had to become better equipped to deal with such situations and any future volcano eruptions in Iceland.

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