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One year after the Eyjafjöll, the Icelandic Grímsvötn volcano strongly erupted on Saturday 21st May, 2011

Grímsvötn volcano FLEXPART
Tracer forecast using the dispersion model FLEXPART developed at NILU (see SAVAA project)
and run at BIRA-IASB for a fixed uniform height profile from 2 to 12 km.
The simulations are obtained using NCEP 1x1 meteorogical fields
from the 21st to the 30th of May 2011.

Grímsvötn volcano Ash by SEVIRI
Movie of the ash plume from the Grímsvötn volcano on Iceland (22-25 May 2011)
observed by SEVIRI (processed by KNMI).

Grímsvötn volcano SO2
SO2 detection from the 21st to the 24th May 2011
using three instruments (IASI, GOME-2 and OMI).

Grímsvötn, Iceland's most frequently active volcano in historical time, lies largely beneath the vast Vatnajökull icecap. University of Iceland geophysicist Magnus Tumi Gudmundsson said this eruption, which began Saturday (2011/05/21) at approximately 17:30 UTC, was Grímsvötn's largest eruption for one hundred years. It is hard to predict how long the eruption would last, but it might already be slowing. There are some signs the eruption plume is getting lower now. We may be seeing the first sign that it is starting to decline. In two or three days the worst should be over.

            Grímsvötn volcano
            (Credit: STR/AFP)

Iceland closed its main international airport and canceled all domestic flights Sunday (2011/05/22) as this powerful volcanic eruption sent a plume of ash, smoke and steam 20 kilometers into the air. A no-fly zone has been put into effect 220 nautical miles surrounding the location of this event. Grímsvötn's eruption, which was accompanied by small earthquakes, comes just one year after the Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted. The ash plunged areas near the volcano in southeast Iceland into darkness Sunday (2011/05/22) and covered buildings, cars and fields in a thick layer of gray soot. Civil protection workers urged residents to wear masks and stay indoors.

Extract from the Associated Press, Jill Lawless And Gudjon Helgason, Sun May 22, 6:53 pm ET.

Ash index IASI 2011/05/22
Detection of Ash (ULB) by IASI instrument.

SO2 vcd IASI 2011/05/22 Detection of SO2 (ULB) by IASI instrument.

SO2 vcd GOME-2 2011/05/22 Detection of SO2 (DLR) by GOME-2 instrument.
Useful links:
- Grímsvötn, ash and SO2 seen by IASI the 23rd and 24th (ULB)
- IASI alert system (ULB)
- GOME-2 alert system (University of Bremen )
- Support to Aviation for Volcanic Ash Avoidance (SAVAA)
- Product Navigation SO2 (DLR)
- Tropospheric Emission Monitoring Internet Service (TEMIS KNMI)
- Ash plume and lightnings (Icelandic Met Ofice)
- London Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)