April 21, 2010 - Ash plume from Eyjafjallajökull Volcano over northern Europe

Ash plume from Eyafjallajokull Volcano, Iceland

This spectacular view shows ash from Iceland’s erupting Eyjafjallajökull Volcano spread across northern Europe on April 16, 2010. The brown ash is mixed with clouds in this photo-like image taken by the MODIS on NASA’s Terra satellite at 12:45 p.m. local time. The visible ash sweeps in an arc across the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, and Russia. It is likely that the clouds mask additional ash.

The airborne ash grounded flights across much of northern and western Europe starting on April 15. As the ash moved south, more countries began to close their airspace. Fine volcanic ash can clog jet engines, causing the engines to stall. Many airports are still closed as of Tuesday April 20. Ash had been reported over Norway, Sweden, northwestern Russia, northern Poland, northern Germany, northern France and the southern United Kingdom, said the Icelandic Met Office.

Eyjafjallajökull began its eruption on March 20, 2010, after 187 years of quiet. On April 14, the volcano began a more forceful eruption, emitting plumes of ash. Ash from the volcano has reached heights of four to five kilometers, said the Icelandic Met Office. The volcano’s previous eruption lasted just over a year between December 1821 and January 1823.

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 04/16/2010
Resolutions: 1km ( B), 500m ( B), 250m ( B)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC