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Latest Eruption column Stories

Improving Volcanic Ash Forecasts For Aviation Safety
2013-10-26 05:29:46

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Frequent travelers can agree that flight delays are all too familiar these days. NASA is looking into a potentially dangerous, though much less frequent, problem that has recently caused major disruptions in flight schedules: volcanic eruptions. Ash and tiny, jagged particles are expelled from explosive volcanic eruptions. These particulates can be blown thousands of miles away from their source and are dangerous to airplanes,...

Japanese Volcano Produces Largest Eruption In Nearly A Century
2013-08-19 07:06:54

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online One of the world’s most active volcanoes showed its ugly side this weekend, erupting and producing an ash cloud that spread out across one southern Japanese city. Sakurajima, a volcano that sits in the background of the southern Japanese city of Kagoshima and is known for producing hundreds of small explosions per year, erupted Sunday in one of the volcano’s largest explosions in decades and perhaps the largest since an...

Alaskan Volcano Eruption On Saturday Forces Aviation Authorities To Divert Some Traffic
2013-05-06 08:26:59

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online An Alaskan volcano roared to life on Saturday spewing a cloud of ash, steam and gas into the atmosphere, potentially disrupting a major air traffic route, according to scientists. The Cleveland Volcano, which sits at the western end of Chuginadak Island (part of the Aleutian Islands), erupted in at least three low-level explosions that were not severe enough to cause significant threats to air travel, but did force federal...

Unmanned Aircraft Used To Help Study Volcanic Plumes
2013-04-02 05:11:35

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Last month, Earth science researchers from NASA traveled to Turrialba Volcano near San Jose, Costa Rica. The research team was there to study the chemical environment of the volcano by flying a Dragon Eye unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) into the sulfur dioxide plume and over its summit crater. The UAV — a small electric aircraft equipped with cameras and sensors — will help the scientists improve the remote-sensing...

The Smell Of Grímsvötn
2012-09-05 12:11:57

While piloting a commercial transatlantic flight last year, Captain Klaus Sievers and his crew got a whiff of an unusual odor. In a confined space 10 km up in the air, there was only one thing it could be. The foul smell with traces of sulphur in the cockpit came from none other than the Grímsvötn volcano that was spewing gas and ash from southeast Iceland. Sulphur dioxide often indicates volcanic ash, and the presence of ash in the atmosphere can endanger jet...

Satellite Provides Glimpse of One Week's Ash Activity From Mexico's Popocatepetl Volcano
2012-04-25 01:03:01

[ Watch the Video ] Satellites continue to provide a look at the ash and gas clouds being emitted from Mexico's Popocatepetl Volcano. NASA has animated imagery from NOAA's GOES-13 satellite to provide a week long look at the volcano's activity. "Most of the time, the prevailing westerly winds carry the debris (ash and smoke) far to the east in the mornings, while the daily rains bring down the ash before it can go far in the afternoon," said Dennis Chesters, of the NASA GOES Project at...

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2011-08-12 13:30:19

The 2010 ash cloud from Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano that disrupted air travel in the UK and cost European businesses more than $2.6 billion was likely a once in a lifetime event, according to scientists, who have analyzed a record of past similar events stretching back into prehistory across northern Europe. Their analysis showed that past ash clouds like the one seen in 2010 occurred on an average of once every 56 years. A report of the findings has been published in the journal...

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2011-05-24 14:55:00

About 500 flights were grounded on Tuesday after ash from an Icelandic volcano moved its way through Britain and towards northern Europe. The clouds caused flights in and out of Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland to be cancelled. British Airways led the way in canceling flights as the ash-cloud from the Grimsvötn volcano spread eastwards. "Approximately 500 flights were cancelled from the approximately 29,000 that would have been expected today across Europe," said a...

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2011-05-24 09:18:33

As Iceland's Grímsvötn volcano spews ash high into the atmosphere, satellite observations are providing essential information to advisory centers assessing the possible hazards to aviation. The Grímsvötn volcano in southeast Iceland, which had been dormant since 2004, started erupting in the evening of 21 May. As a consequence, the country's airspace has been closed. Memories are still fresh of the chaos caused by the Eyjafjallajoekull eruption...

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2010-12-10 13:30:00

The eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull in April this year resulted in a giant ash cloud, which "“ at one point covering most of Europe "“ brought international aviation to a temporary standstill, resulting in travel chaos for tens of thousands. New research, published December 10, in IOP Publishing's Environmental Research Letters, shows that lightning could be used as part of an integrated approach to estimate volcanic plume properties. The scientists found...