UPDATED: Iceland volcanic activity

The Icelandic Met Office (IMO), who monitor volcanoes in the country, have reduced their ‘aviation colour code’ for the Barðarbunga volcano back to Orange.

They elevated the code to Red on Saturday 23 August after an increase in seismic activity which suggested the onset of a sub-glacial eruption.

Further evidence since then has suggested no eruption has occurred, the IMO say, and therefore they have reduced the colour code back to Orange.

The Orange code means ‘Volcano shows heightened or escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption’.

Scientists at the IMO have also said that there are no indications that the seismic activity around the volcano is slowing down and therefore an eruption cannot be excluded. They will continue to monitor the situation very closely.

The Met Office hosts one of nine Volcanic Ash Advisory Centres (VAAC) around the world, which – in the event of a volcanic eruption – give advice on the likely dispersion of ash clouds.

We cover volcanoes in the North East Atlantic, primarily in Iceland. The volcanic ash forecasts are used by airlines, the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) and NATS (National Air Traffic Services) to make decisions on airspace flight management.

Advice will be issued should there be any eruption. Because the dispersal of any ash would heavily depend on the type and extent of eruption, as well as the prevailing weather and atmospheric conditions at the time, we cannot speculate on where ash may go until there is an eruption.

The Met Office will continue to stay in regular contact with the IMO and will keep the CAA fully informed as the UK’s aviation regulator as well as other stakeholders in the UK and abroad.

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One Response to UPDATED: Iceland volcanic activity

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