The Eyjafjallajökull 2010 eruption from the Eyjafjallajökull (Eyjafjöll) Volcanic System

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Eyjafjallajökull began erupting in March 2010. Fljótshlíd residents noticed an orange glow on the edge of the volcano at 23:52 GMT 20th March. This initial eruption was in the Fimmvörduhals area, the pass between Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull. This fissure eruption produced alkali-olivine basaltic lava with an SiO2 content of around 47%. The eruption produced lava flows (1.27 km2), as well as scoria cones. Activity decreased and stopped on the 12 April.

On the 14th April activity activity switched to Eyjafjallajökull's main crater just after midnight. Analyses of the tephra from the second phase of activity show a more evolved source, with an SiO2 content of around 58% with a high fluorine content. This subglacial eruption has resulted in jökulhlaups which has flowed north out of Gígjökull into the Markarfljót valley.

Tephra production has been very well documented with prominent wind directions causing tephra to be carried to the south and east repeatedly, leading to the closure of much of European airspace north of the Alps and also transatlantic routes. Local communities close to the volcano, particularly to the south and south-ease were affected, but significant tephra fallout only occurred on around 3% of Iceland. Reworking of the tephra has occurred at times since the original deposition of the tephra and health implications have also been carefully monitored. The tephra was relatively fine grained and detailed measurements of fallout close to source and distal locations have improved our understanding of atmospheric transport and depositional processes.

On the 23 May, the Institute of Earth Sciences/Nordic Volcanological Institute reported that the volcano was now dormant and just emitting steam. The final report on the 23rd June 2010, describes small scale ash clouds and that the ice is no longer in contact with molten material. Since June 2010, Eyjafjallajökull has been quiet.

More details about this eruption can be found in the references below, the many others have have been written and on the Catalogue of Icelandic Volcanoes website.


The data on this page is from the following source(s). If you use this data please acknowledge the source of the data.

Dellino, P, Gudmundsson, MT, Larsen, G, Mele, D, Stevenson, JA, Thordarson, T and Zimanowski, B (2012) Ash from the Eyjafjallajokull eruption (Iceland): Fragmentation processes and aerodynamic behavior. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth  117, B00C04.

Gudmundsson, MT, Thordarson, T, Hoskuldsson, A, Larsen, G, Bjornsson, H, Prata, FJ, Oddsson, B, Magnusson, E, Hognadottir, T, Petersen, GN, Hayward, CL, Stevenson, JA and Jonsdottir, I (2012) Ash generation and distribution from the April-May 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland. Scientific Reports  2, 572.

Stevenson, JA, Loughlin, S, Rae, C, Thordarson, T, Milodowski, AE, Gilbert, JS, Harangi, S, Lukacs, R, Hojgaard, B, Arting, U, Pyne-O'Donnell, S, MacLeod, A, Whitney, B and Cassidy, M (2012) Distal deposition of tephra from the Eyjafjallajokull 2010 summit eruption. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth  117, B00C10.

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This Tephrabase search was made on 29/9/2021 at 02:14:16 local time, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.