A fissure eruption near Iceland’s Bárðarbunga volcano was still spouting lava on Monday but no ash, a day after an eruption that briefly caused the country to raise its ash alert to its highest level.
Iceland’s largest volcanic system – 190 km long and up to 25 km wide (118 miles by 15.5 miles) – has been hit by thousands of earthquakes over the last two weeks, putting scientists on high alert.
“The fissure eruption is continuing at a stable level,” Iceland’s Meteorological Office said in a statement. “No explosive activity is observed, the eruption remains an effusive lava eruption.”
On Sunday, lava fountains more than 50 metres high prompted the Met Office to raise its ash warning for aviation to red, the highest on a five-level scale indicating, that an eruption is imminent or under way, with a risk of spewing ash.
Iceland cut the level back to orange – the next highest level – later in the day, saying the eruption was not creating ash.
In 2010, an ash cloud from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, in a different region of Iceland, caused the closure of much of Europe’s air space for six days.