Latest Volcano news.
Summary : Last updated July 22nd
at 12:50 PM
In response to latest news headlines around the world we at Arctic Adventures
want to inform our current and future customers about the following facts based
on news reports and most up-to-date research.
All airports are currently open in Iceland and are expected to remain so in the
near future. For the past seven weeks there has been no volcano activity.
It is too soon to say if the eruption is completely over but the ash fall has
come to a compleat stop and no lava is flowing. As before, people and travelers are
quite safe, as the eruption was localized to a small area in the south coast. Note that all
our tour guides are well trained and check the status of the eruption before
any trips that could be affected by the eruption. Only a few Arctic Adventures trips have been canceled because of the eruption, for example Blue Ice - iceclimbing on Sólheimajökull glacier, since that clacier is right next to the eruption sight and has been affected by ash.
The road between Markarfljót and Skógar has been opened for
traffic and in the South shore it´s buisness as usual. With the clash of lava and ice under the ice cap a great amount of ash has
appeared and so famously interrupted air traffic in Europe. Luckily, most of the ash was blown away from most populated areas in Iceland and caused only
very localized damage in the South shore. Life stock was temporarily moved to other parts of the country during the eruption but has now returned.
rumor started circulating that Hekla had started to erupt. Hekla of
course is a very beautiful volcano, but it hasn't shown any activity in
ten years and geologists haven't measured any earthquake activity in the
Hekla area. (That said, Hekla has erupted every ten years in the past decades
and the last eruption was in 2000.)
The next big volcano to fear is Katla, which
lies underneath the Mýrdalsjökull icecap and is a larger volcano than
Eyjafjallajökull. In the three previous Eyjafjallajökull eruptions in the last
thousand years, Katla always followed within a year or so. According to
volcanologist Thorvaldur Thórdarson, professor at the University of Edinburgh
there is nothing to indicate an eruption in Katla. He points out that Katla has
erupted 21 times in historical times but Eyjafjallajökull only three
times—apart from the current eruption. So it might as well be coincidental that
eruptions in Katla had followed the Eyjafjallajökull eruptions.
As of May 23rd the volcano activity has decreased greatly. It is too soon to say if the eruption is completely over
but the ash fall has come to a near stop and no lava is flowing. Only small puffs of smoke apear every now and then from the crater.
Icelandic civil protection authorities have the situation as
regards public response fully under control and are providing citizens in
adjacent areas to the volcano with necessary assistance. Ash has fallen
in the vicinity of Eyjafjallajökull in southern Iceland, to the north-east over
the highlands and locals and volunteers are helping with the clean up on nearby
houses and farms.
See news reports from our local media below and Arctic Adventures Frequently
Civil Protection Department
Icelandic Met Office
Iceland Tourist Board
Trade Council of
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Information & Services
Arctic Adventures Frequently Asked Questions:
How is my trip affected to Iceland?
As long as you can fly to Iceland (Keflavik airport has not been closed for
a single day since the eruption began) Arctic Adventures is operating all their
adventure trips as usual except for the ones in the south coast. That is our
tour Blue Ice tour for ice hiking and ice climbing or our super jeep day tour U
Drive South Shore which includes south coast sightseeing and ice hiking on
Sólheimajökull glacier in the south coast.
The good news is that we have a new trip to see the Volcanic eruption area which
is a once in a lifetime experience for most people!
Please note that of course it's highly dependent on weather conditions,
volcanic eruption conditions and road conditions.
What can I do while on my holiday on Iceland?
As usual, join our popular adventure trips and e-mail us at email@example.com
in regards to general info and other tours. All trips are running as usual for
now except for the trips onto the South Coast.
Here is info on our winter day tours from Reykjavík running every day for a
minimum of 2 persons until 14th of May:
Click here for our winter day tours.
We have already started rafting for the season on Hvítá river, check out our River
Fun trip for more details.
We will start our rafting trips up north in early May.
And finally here you can find our summer day tours from Reykjavík for our summer
season starting in 15th of May.
What happens if I cancel my trip?
See our cancellation policy below:
10% of the price of your tour in non refundable, this percentage reflects
our cost of booking & preparing your tour.
If you cancel your day trip with more then one weeks (7 days)
notice you will be refunded 90%. If you cancel your day trip with less
then seven days before your departure and you will be refunded 70%. If you
cancel your day trip with less then two day notice (48 hours) there is no refund
for your tour.
If you cancel your multi day adventure tour or trek, including incentive trips,
with more then four weeks (28 days) notice you will be refunded 90%.
If you cancel such trips with less then four weeks before your departure and
you will be refunded 50%. Cancel such trips with less then two day (48 hours)
and there is no refund for your tour.
The final number of participants given 48 hours before any trip is undertaken
is the number of participants you will have to pay for and hence absolutely no
refunds are made for cancelations made 48 hours before a trip.
What happens if we cancel your trip?
For example in case of being unable to run your trip due to weather, road
conditions or volcanic eruptions...
All adventure trips and outdoor activities are weather and condition depended
and we reserve the right to change your itinerary or cancel your trip with your
safety in mind. Please keep in mind that Iceland is and will always be Iceland,
the weather changes fast on our northern island and with it conditions change.
Our guides are specially trained to deal with changing conditions and their
number one priority is to make decisions with your safety in mind. Please be
aware of this respect your guides authority to so. This is especially valid
for winter travel in Iceland, our summer trips, operated from June through
August, are rarely adversely affected by harsh weather.
If we are forced to cancel your trip due to factors outside of our
control before it starts you will receive a 100% refund. If we are
forced to change your itinerary at some point during your trip you
may or may not be partly refunded for your tour, this depends on what trip you
are on and at what stages that trip is. This refund is rarely more then 50%
since in most cases the majority of our operating costs have already been
realized after your trip starts.
How can I book my trips in Iceland?
As usual you can book our trips online on our webpage www.adventures.is or
send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org It's good to have your contact
info such as e-mail, accommodation while in Iceland and phone number in case we
have to contact you with short notice due to changes on your trips.
How are the local Icelanders doing right now?
Day to day business in Iceland a has not been affected apart from the directly
affected areas in the south. In other parts of the country, Icelanders’ daily
life is proceeding quite normally. Domestic flights are running as usual and
flights between Iceland and North America. The Icelandic Tourist
Council wishes to forewarn the public of exaggerated news reports on the
eruption but encourages travelers to keep abreast of developments.
How are travelers in Iceland doing right now?
The Icelandic Tourist Council held a meeting at noon on 16 April 2010,
whereupon it was decided to issue a press release stressing that day-to-day
life in Iceland is just as usual, even though the volcanic eruption in
Eyjafjallajökull glacier on the south coast of Iceland has made a profound
impact and generated dangers in a specified area. In other parts of the
country, Icelanders’ daily life is proceeding quite normally.
Even though the eruption in Eyjafjallajökull is relatively small, airborne
volcanic ash has dispersed over a wide area and disrupted air travel in Europe.
It is the joint task of the aviation and tourism authorities in Europe to find
ways to transport travelers to their destinations with absolute safety.
It is the task of Iceland’s Civil Protection Department to ensure that the
utmost safety measures are followed in Iceland, and to provide a constant flow
of information to all parties that need it. Euro Control and the Volcanic Ash
Center take decisions on air travel authorisations in Europe.
Even if the eruption is prolonged – and its duration is impossible to predict –
it is considered likely that volcanic ash formation will taper off once the
preconditions for the mixture of water and embers no longer exist.
The Icelandic Tourist Council wishes to forewarn the public of exaggerated news
reports on the eruption but encourages travelers to keep abreast of
Travelers currently in Iceland are safe and well-treated, and the appropriate
parties are making every effort to make their stay as pleasant and comfortable
What are my concerns in regards to flights to Iceland?
Flights to Iceland Have Resumed. Now You Can See the Big Volcano! This morning
flights from Keflavík Airport were on schedule to Oslo, Stockholm and Glasgow.
However, the flights to Copenhagen and Amsterdam were canceled. Little by
little those who have been stranded in Iceland are going back to their home
countries. This means that hotel space is opening up again, which means that
once again people have a chance to see this new and totally different eruption.
Flights over Europe are slowly returning to a normal, even as ash continues to
waft through the skies.
Iceland Express announced earlier today that it was resuming flights to
Copenhagen, for example. Airports in Sweden, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland,
Italy and Spain have also re-opened.
While airports in Scotland and in northern England have also re-opened,
airports in London remain closed. Ireland and Germany hopes to open more
flights later on today. Air France said it would open flights tomorrow.
Iceland Express has also resumed flights to Glasgow, Seville, Alicante, Tenirife,
Stockholm, Oslo and Edinburgh.
How long will the eruption last?
The eruption continues. It is not
possible to predict the duration of the eruption. Previous known eruptions from
this volcano were in the years 1612, believed to have lasted only three days,
and 1821-3, when it erupted on and off for over a year.
What do we really know about
As volcano eruptions happen relatively rarely and studies of volcanic eruptions
are relatively newly being studied on a highly professional manner it can be
difficult to predict how it all goes. We can only estimate and have good daily
updates of this one, as it erupts very rarely it is difficult to predict what
will happen next. However we have had for example regular eruptions in
Grímsvötn under Vatnajökull glacier and Hekla volcano as they erupt quite
frequently. Therefor there is much more known of those eruptions as an example.
What kind of eruption is this? The eruption is an explosive eruption beneath a glacier. The ash is fluorine rich, of intermediate silica content and the particles are very fine.
How does the ash effect me when traveling in Iceland? Will I need to carry a
The ash has no affect on your travels unless for some cases flights or by the
ash area in the south close to the volcano. They recommend that you wear a mask
if you are very close to the volcano area where you can see the ash in the air.
For now they have only published this recommendation for those in the south
coast close to the ashes. There is no need for wearing a mask in Reykjavík
capital area or other areas in Iceland.
How safe is it up there in Iceland, any fatalities or injuries?
Everything has been as usual here in Iceland except for some cancellations on
flights and evacuation plans on some farm areas on the south coast. Nobody has
gotten even close to dying or getting injured but farming and vegetation is
starting on having serious problems. It can prove very difficult to reap a
harvest at the farms where the ash layer from the volcanic eruption
in Eyjafjallajökull is more than ten centimeters thick. It could even
mean the end to farming at some of the farms in the area.
Farmers all over the country must now increase their fodder production. At
farms that were subject to the most ash fall, the livestock will most likely
need to be moved to other areas. He added that if the ash fall continues, some
farms may even be abandoned for good. Kristinn Stefánsson, the farmer at
Raufarfell, has already taken that step. He told ruv.is that he has
no choice but to stop farming. A thick layer of ash, which has gotten wet and
hard, covers his pastures.
Why were there floods and can floods still be expected?
Several very sudden jökulhlaups (glacier outburst floods) have occurred during
the subglacial eruption in Eyjafjallajökull volcano. The largest one came in
the very beginning of the event with maximum discharge about 2000-3000 m3/sec.
Now the eruption is constrained to one vent and, therefore, very limited amount
of ice is melted and, accordingly, little danger of large jökulhlaups. The
floods are monitored by online gauges in several rivers around the volcanoes Katla
and Eyjafjallajökull. Large or damaging jökulhlaups are not expected in
connection to this event unless changes occur in the eruption pattern.
How is the eruption monitored?
The Icelandic Meteorological Office monitors earth movements, water conditions
and weather and issues warnings. Many kinds of measurements are carried out by
the IMO and other agencies that provide valuable information used to warn of
impending danger, for example potential eruptions and floods. The IMO's weather
radar on the southwest tip of the country shows the height of the ash plume,
which is important for calculating the distribution of the ash. There is a 24/7
watch at the IMO, where a meteorologist is present and a seismologist and
hydrologist are on call. The IMO works closely with the National Emergency
Agency, the University of Iceland and the British Meteorological Office, where
the London VAAC (Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre) is stationed. The London office
gives information on ash which are based on information from the Icelandic Met
How are eruptions forecast and
monitored in Iceland?
To forecast and monitor seismic and volcanic activity in Iceland, IMO operates
a nationwide digital network of seismic stations and continuous GPS stations.
Subglacial eruptions often coincide with jökulhlaups. To monitor the
jökulhlaups IMO uses water-level gauges and electrical conductivity meters.
More about this in an article in Eos.
How do I find basic weather
information, present weather and forecasts?
Information on the weather conditions near the volcano can be viewed on the
weather pages of the IMO-web and navigate from there. For the present weather
one can view the newest synoptic analysis. The observations are plotted
according to WMO standards. There are no highland stations near the volcano.
The difference in the weather in the lowland and in the mountains can be
considerable. Wind-chill and wetness (rain, snow or blowing snow) are always a
potential hazard as sudden weather changes are more common on higher ground
than in the lowland.
News Articles about traveling in Iceland and visiting the Volcano:
Simon Calder from the Independent:
"From the media saga of the past few weeks, you might imagine the eruption had
placed the south of Iceland into something like a permanent eclipse, casting
gloom across the land and smothering anything that moved. You would be
wrong. Indeed, the extraordinary thing about the environs of the volcano is:
how ordinary it is."
He was in Iceland recently and this is what he has to say about his trip.