Transatlantic flights might just get a little rare shortly. Badarbunga in Iceland just went to code red. Just hope the Europeans don’t completely shut down their airspace like last time. Although this is a possibility, as expert opinion is that this Icelandic crustal burp might just turn into a biggie. Right on the flight path to Europe with a 200 nautical mile exclusion zone around the volcano.
Local Webcams are up and down like yo-yo’s because of server overloading, not much to see anyway apart from monochrome, even at four in the afternoon local time.
If you want the real skinny on what’s going on under (or shortly through) the glacier, visit Jon Frimanns site or the Vatnajokull seismicity page of the Icelandic Met Office.
As for flight disruption, all my old resources have gone all touchy-feely and no longer provide the information required. Which is annoying. Travellers don’t want to know how wonderful and sparkly the CEO’s latest marketing wheeze is. They want pertinent information so they don’t have to lie around making extra work for the cleaning staff in brand new sparkly airport termini, waiting for flights that may not arrive. Especially when the airlines won’t help, or tell you anything worthwhile if your long haul flight is cancelled due to weather or in this case, a volcano. Guidelines for Europe are here. The Irish IAA have a page with useful updates here.
Update: One of the things you don’t hear much of in the lamestream is that magma from Badarbunga has been travelling to another volcano some forty kilometres away called Askja. Although Badarbunga has been downgraded to flight status orange, Askja has been updated to yellow. This could get real interesting, real fast.
Update 2: Just started to get interesting. Glowing lava visible on webcam here.
There are rumblings and grumblings still going on after last nights tremor spike and small jokulhaup (Glacial flood) under Katla in Iceland but nothing definitive. Erik Klemetti reports that there’s a series of glacial cracks in Myrdasjokull, the glacier covering Katla. A bridge and the Icelandic ring road are washed out, but for the moment, according to our man on the spot Jon Frimann, tremor and quake activity has dropped off.
Could this be it? The whimper and not the bang like in 1999? As one who has tickets booked for Europe, I’d like Katla to either quiet down or hold off for another three weeks before giving us a serious fireworks display. I have the feelings my travel insurance has a volcanoes exemption clause.
Just for reference; the last time Katla did go up ‘properly’ was in 1918 with a VEI4+ Class eruption. By comparison, Eyjafjallajökull in 2010 was a VEI2+.
Have a look at the webcam on this link.
Something beyond Mt Unpronounceable seems to be throwing up a column of steam. Katla, or the East side of the Eyfjallajokull vent system?
It’s hard to tell. The Katla webcam is down, so no way of telling unless someone with their feet on the ground can report directly. Perhaps Jon Frimann will be able to keep us posted. Tremor plots for the area (See HVO and GOD) showed a small uptick in activity earlier today, BC time.
Just got back from work, and I’m on evening shifts all weekend. Will try to keep up.
Update: Steam plume seems to have gone, and tremor activity has dipped.