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PNG volcano Tavurvur eruption may disrupt Australian flights
A MAJOR volcanic eruption in Papua New Guinea this morning could disrupt flights to and from Australia.
The Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre in Darwin is monitoring the ash cloud from Tavurcur on PNG’s East Britain Island, which is slowly drifting southwest.
Senior meteorologist Ian Shepherd said they were watching the cloud closely and providing advice to airlines.
“The volcanic eruption reached the top of the atmosphere at 50,000 feet which is the same height as which planes travel,” said Mr Shepherd.
The news site PNGloop reported that ash from the volcano is blowing toward the north coast of the island. The site also posted a notice from the Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazards Management that stated the eruption commenced between 3.30am-4am. The eruption involved “incandescent projections and ongoing loud roaring and rumbling noises,” the notice stated.
"It was a small eruption and a small sample of the magma that is moving underground reached the surface," says Páll, describing the events of the night as an abberation in the larger course of events of the last two weeks.
Páll agrees with fellow professor of geophysics, Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson, who earlier today described the eruption as an "accident". "The magma intrusion strayed unnecessarily close to the surface and some magma came out," Páll says.
A fissure eruption started around midnight in the Holuhraun lavafield, ca. 9 kilometers north of Dyngjujokull glacier. Lava streams out of a 100 meter long fissure, in the northern part of the lava field, about 15 kilometers south of the Askja caldera.
"- At 00:02 UTC signs of a lava eruption were detected on web camera images from Mila. The web-camera is located at Vaðalda, north-east of the eruption site.
- Around midnight, weak signs of increased tremor were apparent on IMO's seismic stations near to the eruption site. At 00:20 UTC scientists in the field from the Icelandic Met Office, Institute of Earth Sciences and Cambridge University confirmed the location of the eruption.
- The eruption occurred on an old volcanic fissure on the Holuhraun lava field, about 5 km north of the Dyngjujökull ice margin. The active fissure was about 600 m in length.
A small amount of lava drained from the fissure and by around 04:00 UTC, lava flow is thought to have stopped.
- According to seismic data and web-camera imagery, the eruption peaked between 00:40 and 01:00 UTC.
- At the beginning of the eruption, seismic activity decreased, although seismicity has since returned to levels observed in recent days.
- Aerial observations by the Icelandic Coastguard show that only steam is rising from the site of the lava eruption.
- There are no indications that the intensity of the activity declining.
1 The migration of magma could stop, resulting in a gradual reduction in seismic activity and no further eruptions.
2 The dike could reach the Earth's surface north of Dyngjujökull causing another eruption, possibly on a new fissure. Such an eruption could include lava flow and (or) explosive activity.
3 The intrusion reaches the surface and an eruption occurs again where either the fissure is partly or entirely beneath Dyngjujökull. This would most likely produce a flood in Jökulsá á Fjöllum and perhaps explosive, ash-producing activity.
Other scenarios cannot be excluded. For example, an eruption inside the Bárdarbunga caldera."
An interactive 3D model of the earthquakes in Bárðarbunga – preliminary version
The depth of the earthquakes is indicated by two planes, at 5 km and 10 km. The topography is exaggerated by factor 5. The depth of the earthquakes is not exaggerated, they are positioned with sea level as a referral plane.
Coloured patches on the surface represent the 20 most recent earthquakes. As the coloured patches move on they leave a gray color, which consequently shows where the activity has been. Doing is learning and our users are encouraged to test out the interactive possibilities:
zoom in and out (central mouse scroll), pan (right click), turn over (left click)
choose speed 1x, 2x, 10x (available in some browsers (e.g. Chrome but not Firefox)
coloured patches on/off (ring icon)
choose landscape map (mountain icon) or satellite image (bell icon) for the surface
Tryggvi Hjörvar, specialist at the Icelandic Met Office, created this mode