29/Jul/2014 - Last News Update: 21:02

Iceland volcanic ash cloud set to reach UK

Category: Scotland

Published: 23rd May 2011 07:35:23

A volcanic ash cloud from Iceland is expected to reach parts of the UK by the early hours of Tuesday morning, the Met Office has said.

It does not mean there will definitely be airspace closures but makes flight disruption more likely, it said.

The Grimsvotn volcano in Iceland is experiencing its largest eruption in 100 years.

The event comes a year after ash from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano spread across Europe, causing huge disruption.

The Met Office, which runs Europe's Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre, earlier said there was more uncertainty over this eruption because weather was much more changeable.

The prediction then was for the possibility of ash reaching the UK towards the end of the week.

Icelandic air traffic control has created a no-fly zone around the volcano, closed Keflavik airport, the country's main hub, and cancelled all domestic flights.

The Grimsvotn volcano, which lies beneath the ice of the uninhabited Vatnajokull glacier in south-east Iceland, began erupting on Saturday.

University of Iceland geophysicist Pall Einarsson said the eruption was on a different scale to the one in Iceland last year.

"It is not likely to be anything on the scale that was produced last year when the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted," he said.

"That was an unusual volcano, an unusual ash size distribution and unusual weather pattern, which all conspired together to make life difficult in Europe."

The ash particles from this eruption are said to be larger than last year, and as a result fall to the ground more quickly.

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BBC News, 2011. Iceland volcanic ash cloud set to reach UK [Online] (Updated 23rd May 2011)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/155911/Iceland-volcanic-ash-cloud-set-to-reach-UK [Accessed 29th Jul 2014]

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