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News April 28, 2010 //  by  // 6 Comments

Geologist weighs in on volcanic eruption

The double eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull has caused a minor disaster in the air travel business, as thousands of passengers were left stranded in Europe when ash plumes rose to flying altitude. | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland erupted twice in less than a month, leading to the cancellation of trans-Atlantic flights and leaving thousands of passengers stranded in Europe.

Dr. Jonathan Snow, associate professor of isotope geochemistry, said that two events may have caused the eruptions.

“Iceland is sitting on top of a major plates boundary where two tectonic plates are spreading apart,” Snow said. “The second thing that causes volcanism there is the deep metal hot spot. The combination of those two things makes the volcanoes in Iceland the largest volcanoes I’ve found on any mid-ocean ridge plate boundary.”

Snow said the Eyjafjallajökull volcano is at the tail end of the main eruption phase and there is still lava pouring out.

He said that even though this part of the eruption is over, the erupting cycle could start up again. There are a few eruptive events that could last weeks or months.

Snow said the volcano is small, but its eruption has garnered so much attention because its ash cloud has blown over four of the top 10 airports in the world. Though the ash cloud was high enough to affect air traffic, it is unlikely there will be any climate disruption.

Professor Snow said he doesn’t believe this incident has anything to do with global warming.

Snow said some of the farmers living in the area had to deal with volcanic ash, which may make it difficult to farm there for a few years.

Also, a nearby volcano, Katla, has historically erupted after the Eyjafjallajökull volcano. Many people are speculating if that will happen this time.

“There has not been any attributable measurements or seismic evidence that Katla will erupt,” Snow said.

news@thedailycougar.com


  • christ

    its happening because of us we cant do anything expet change our living :)

    christian chindy from middle east ( LeBanon)!!!!!!!!

    proud to be lebanese

    • yoyo

      Hey christian chindy, you are correct my friend.

    • Casper

      I hope you dont mean that its a punishment from God or something
      The sacrefice on the cross was 100% God is not punishing us anymore because of it.

      regards…

  • http://www.yahoo.com TTYYTTII

    I believe that the volcano begin to erupt cause the tectonic plates are beginning to come together instead of seperating. That makes more since. The force of gravity is used when plates come together to make the eruption start up. But i think Mr. Snow( scientist) is wrong cause if the plates were seperating the volcano probably wouldn’t have erupted.

    • :P :)

      No, Mr.Snow is correct in saying that they are separating. Think about it, if the magma underneathe the plates has been clustering in that spot for thousands of years, it has created a lot of pressure. When the plates shift apart, the pressure is released, forcing all of the magma upward. I'm not sure if this is 100% correct, but I find it more probable that the plates are separating like Mr. Snow stated.

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