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Eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano
on Iceland
April 2010

Eyjafjallajökull volcano on 15 Apr. 2010
Plume of smoke
(Eyjafjallajökull on 15 Apr. 2010).
© Saeberg/Reuters

The Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland has injected a considerable amount of ash particles and trace gases (e.g. SO2) into the upper atmosphere after its eruption started on April 14th. The volcanic ash cloud has rapidly been transported and dispersed by the winds over most of Europe. Due to the presumable damaging impact of ash particles on the aircraft engines, thousands of air flights have been cancelled over the entire European continent causing an unprecedented situation for the travelers, aviation sector and connected economic activities.

Ash smoke and sulphur dioxide (SO2) emitted by the volcano are monitored using satellite measurements as part of the SACS service*, jointly operated by BIRA-IASB, KNMI, ULB and DLR. Color maps presented on this page display absorbing aerosol index and SO2 columns observed with the OMI instrument.

Absorbing aerosol index over Europe based on OMI data for 15 and 16 April 2010.

Absorbing aerosol index 2010/04/15 Absorbing aerosol index 2010/04/16

The absorbing aerosol index is a qualitative indicator of the presence of ash particles in the atmosphere, which enables identifying the areas with the highest ash concentrations and to monitor the evolution of the volcanic cloud.

* The Support to Aviation Control Service (SACS) hosted by BIRA-IASB aims at supporting the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centers, the official organizations responsible for gathering information on volcanic clouds. This is achieved by delivering near-real time data derived from satellite measurements regarding volcanic emissions, and in case of volcanic eruptions to send out alerts by email to interested parties.

Useful links:
- Support to Aviation for Volcanic Ash Avoidance (SAVAA)
- Tropospheric Emission Monitoring Internet Service (TEMIS KNMI)
- IASI results via the eumetsat special page (ULB)
- Product Navigation SO2 (DLR)
- London Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
- Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES)
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TEMIS Home Page  PROMOTE Home Page  O3M SAF Home Page Last update on 01 Mar 2012