Eyjafjallajökull has been active in the last few days. Dr. Erik Klemetti of Eruptions blog has a great write up. Go listen to him. Also, Jorge Santos has the best picture of the ash.
Most recently, on 4/14/2010 (or 14-4-2010 if you’re not in the US):
After a few days of quiet in Eyjafjallajökull volcano, a new and much more forceful eruption has begun west of Fimmvörðuháls, under the ice-cap.
The eruption is below the highest peak of Eyjafjallajökull, at the southern rim of the caldera.
A plume rises at least 8 km into the air. No lava is seen yet but melt-water flows both north and south of the mountain.
-Iceland Meteorologic Office
At 2300 on 13 April, a seismic swarm was detected below the central part of Eyjafjöll, W of the previous eruption fissures. About an hour later, the onset of seismic tremor heralded an eruption from a new vent on the S rim of the central caldera, capped by Eyjafjallajökull glacier. The eruption was visually confirmed early in the morning on 14 April; an eruption plume rose at least 8 km above the glacier. Meltwater flowed to the N and S. News outlets reported that a circular ice-free area about 200 m in diameter was seen near the summit. Scientists conducting an overflight saw a new 2-km-long, N-S-trending fissure, and ashfall to the E. About 700 people were ordered to evacuate the area, and certain flights were banned from flying N and E of the eruption area. Flooding increased throughout the day, causing road closures and some structural damage.
-Institute of Earth Sciences
Eyjafjöll is also known as Eyjafjallajökull. It’s a strato volcano – so more of a pointy volcano (like Mount Vesuvius), less of a flat volcano (like Hawai’i). Eruptions from strato volcanoes are often more powerful and spread more ash and less lava. Near Seattle the Cascades have many strato volcanoes: Mount Rainier, Mount Saint Helens, Crater Lake, Shasta, etc.
Good places for more information?
The volcano itself (from the Global Volcanism Program).
The eruption on 4/14/2010 (from the Iceland Meteorological Service)
NASA’s Earth Observatory Photographs from Space
~ A l i c e !