Eruption in Eyjafjallajökull

Status Report: 19:00 GMT, 21 May 2010

Kilde: Icelandic Meteorological Office and Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland

Compiled by: Sigþrúður Ármannsdóttir, Matthew J. Roberts, Teitur Arason, Bergþóra S. Þorbjarnardóttir, Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson and Gunnar Sigurðsson.

Based on: Observations from inspection flight at 6 PM, IMO seismic monitoring; IESIMO GPS monitoring; IMO hydrological data; IMO weather radar measurements, web cameras, ATDnet – UK Met. Offices lightning detection system, NOAA satellite images and web-based ash reports from the public.

Eruption plume:

Height (a.s.l.): Observation from inspection flight and other pilot reports show that the plume is at a height of 3-3.5 km/10,000-12,000ft. Plume is blown towards northeast and later northwest by light southerly winds.

Heading: Northeast at first and later northwest.
Colour: Light grey, with a small amount of ash.
Tephra fallout: No reports of ashfall today.

Reports from Neðri-Þverá and Hlíðarendakot in Fljótshlíð of bluish gas in Fljótsdalur and along the hillsides in some sort of clouds, smelling of rot (causing people headaches when dark in colour).

Lightning: No lightning strikes have been detected since 13h, yesterday.
Noises: No reports.


Small discharge from Gígjökull. A water gauge is being installed in Kaldaklif River today.

Conditions at eruption site:

The eruption rate has declined a great deal and the weak plume rises from the western part of the crater. No real explosions and no lava flowing from the crater.

Seismic tremor:

Volcanic tremor levels have decreased since yesterday evening. However, they rose for two hours this morning, but have since continued to decrease.


Over twenty earthquakes have been recorded since midnight, the majority at shallow depths.

GPS deformation:

Continued horizontal displacements toward the centre of Eyjafjallajökull volcano. Irregular oscillations in the vertical component of stations closest to the volcano.

Overall assessment:

The eruption has declined a great deal and the flow of magma into the crater can be roughly estimated as 5 tonnes/s, carried away by a plume that rises 1.5-2 km above the creater. No lava flowing.