The Eyjafjallajökull ash cloud

The Eyjafjallajökull ash cloud

Before the National Climate Information Centre summarise the weather of 2010 on page 43, we take another look at one of the major environmental events of the year. Eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland during April and May 2010 (Petersen, 2010) resulted in disruption to air travel as volcanic ash spread into UK and European airspace. Here we reproduce a variety of images from that event, obtained from the ground, the air and from space.

Figure 1.

A layer of ash is seen from the FAAM research aircraft between the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland on 17 May 2010. (© Jeff Norwood-Brown.)

Figure 2.

The Eyjafjallajökull eruption plume rises above low cloud on 17 May 2010. (© Ólafur Sigurjónsson.)

Figure 3.

This image from the Terra satellite at 1135 utc on 15 April 2010 shows the ash plume reaching the Shetland Islands. (NASA/GSFC, MODIS Rapid Response.)

Figure 4.

Time-height plot of backscatter intensity measured by Lidar at Met Office Exeter on 16 April 2010. Normal boundary layer aerosol can be seen to about 1.2km, with patchy cloud at the top of this indicated by strong backscatter (red). A volcanic ash plume is detected at about 2.8km from 1300 utc, descending to the top of the boundary layer by 2000 utc. (Crown copyright, courtesy Met Office Observations Programme.)