Saturday, April 17, 2010

Volcano spews more ash, spawns wider flight chaos

clipped from news.yahoo.com
This aerial image shows the crater spewing ash and plumes of grit at the summit of the volcano in southern Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier Saturday

LONDON – A lingering volcanic ash plume forced extended no-fly restrictions over much of Europe on Saturday, as scientists warned that activity at a volcano in Iceland had increased and showed no sign of abating — a portent of more travel chaos to come.

Scientists say that because the volcano is situated below a glacial ice cap, the magma is being cooled quickly, causing explosions and plumes of grit that can be catastrophic to plane engines if prevailing winds are right.

"The activity has been quite vigorous overnight, causing the eruption column to grow," Icelandic geologist Magnus Tumi Gudmundsson told The Associated Press on Saturday. "It's the magma mixing with the water that creates the explosivity. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be an end in sight."

"Currently the U.K. and much of Europe is under the influence of high pressure, which means winds are relatively light and the dispersal of the cloud is slow,
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