Centara Hotels & Resorts

Published on Monday, September 24, 2018

Airlines warned another Icelandic ash cloud is 'likely'

Airlines are being warned another Icelandic volcano is 'about to erupt' - and the effects of this one could be much worse than the ash cloud that disrupted air travel across Europe eight years ago.

Scientists say Katla volcano, a close neighbour to Eyjafjallajokull, which erupted in 2010 causing huge air travel disruption, is showing signs it is going to blow for the first time since 1918.

If it does, the eruption is likely to overshadow that of Eyjafjallajokull, which led to thousands of passengers being stranded when the ash plume from the volcano halted air traffic across Europe.

Evgenia Ilyinskaya, a research fellow in the Institute of Geophysics and Tectonics at Leeds University, said an eruption is overdue. Katla previously erupted every 50 years before 1918, when it last blew its top completely.       

Ilyinskaya told The Sunday Times that the CO2 emissions from Katla were 'huge' and even a small eruption was likely to cause a larger ash plume than Eyjafjallajokull's in 2010.

Ilyinskaya added studies from other huge volcanoes in Hawaii and Alaska show emissions increase well before eruptions, sometimes a matter of years.

Last week she told the Icelandic national broadcasting service the volume of CO2 indicated significant activity that could not be explained by normal geothermal activity.

Katla caused concern two years ago when it was struck by quakes of magnitude 4.2 and 4.5 in quick succession at the weekend, raising concerns they could trigger an eruption.

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