Iceland: Grimsvotn Volcano Eruption Triggers Local Flight Ban {VIDEO}

Grimsvotn eruption in 2004 from NASA satellite technology.

New Update: (Tuesday, May 24, 9:35am EST) here: Iceland Volcano Causes Flights of Thousands to be Cancelled.
Update on the ongoing Grimvotn eruption, volcanic ash, and how it is affecting and expected to affect air transportation publish on Monday, May 23, 9:15am EST.

I reported last night that the Grimsvotn Volcano eruption in Iceland yesterday was unlikely to cause much chaos for international flights. News is now that Iceland’s authorities are putting a temporary flight ban in place, but that the same prediction remains.

The plume of smoke from the eruption has gotten as high as 12 miles (20km) according to experts and putting flights in the area on hold is common sense. See a video of the erupting volcano here (3 more videos of the 2011 Grimvotn volcano eruption here).

“A no-fly zone which covers a 120 nautical mile radius around the eruption has been put in place,” according to Hjordis Gudmundsdottir, spokeswoman for Isavia Ltd.

Nonetheless, the Icelandic Meteorological Office maintains that there is not likely to be nearly the international flight hold-up that we saw last year after the Eyjafjallajökull eruption, which resulted in the largest closing of airspace in Europe since World War II. That event caused 100,000 flights to be grounded in the first six days of the eruption and reportedly cost airlines $1.7 billion.

“We do not expect the Grimsvotn eruption to affect air traffic to and from the country in any way,” said communications director Gudjon Arngrimsson.

Difference between Eyjafjallajökull and Grímsvötn Eruptions

“The ash in Eyjafjallajokull was persistent or unremitting and fine-grained,” Pall Einarsson, a geophysicist at the University of Iceland, said. “The ash in Grimsvotn is more coarse and not as likely to cause danger as it falls to the ground faster and doesn’t stay as long in the air as in the Eyjafjallajokull eruption.”

Reportedly, no air traffic has actually been affected by Grímsvötn’s eruption yet.

More on volcanoes.

Sources: BloombergBBC
Image Courtesy: NASA/MODIS Rapid Response System via Galar71

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