Volcanic Ash Cloud from Iceland Likely To Disturb Flights to Nigeria from UK

As the latest forecasts from the Met Office a thick cloud is likely to cover much of Scotland by tomorrow morning can disturb the schedule of flights worldwide.
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May 23, 2011 - PRLog -- Disruption to flights from UK is possible tonight due to ash from the erupting Grimsvotn volcano, according to air traffic control company Nats. Advised passengers to check with their airline before travelling to these airports. European and African airlines have been warned to prepare for possible disruption to their flight schedules by the end of the week.

Volcanic ash consists of small tephra, which are bits of pulverized rock and glass created by volcanic eruptions   less than 2 millimeters’ (0.1 in) in diameter. There are three mechanisms of volcanic ash formation: gas release under decompression causing magmatic eruptions; thermal contraction from chilling on contact with water causing phreatomagmatic eruptions, and ejection of entrained particles during steam eruptions causing phreatic eruptions.  The violent nature of volcanic eruptions can hit the flights to Nigeria involving steam results in the magma and solid rock surrounding the vent being torn into particles of clay to sand size. Volcanic ash can lead to breathing problems and malfunctions in machinery, and clouds of it can threaten aircraft and alter weather patterns.
Despite this airline stocks fell early on Monday, with losses in heavyweights such as Lufthansa, Air France and Scandinavian SAS leading the European travel and leisure index down 1.8%.

There are three danger effects are predicted that can affect worldwide flights
1.   Gas release under decompression causing magmatic eruptions.
2.   Thermal contraction from chilling on contact with water causing phreatomagmatic eruptions
3.   Ejection of entrained particles during steam eruptions causing phreatic eruptions.

In History
Last year, ash from an explosion at Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano forced the closure of European airspace for six days. Some 10 million passengers were left stranded for days at airport lounges around the world following the eruption in April 2010. Experts and officials have said it is unlikely the Grimsvotn ash cloud would bring the same extent of misery.


Some experts say there is chance that Katla volcano, to the east of the Eyjafjallajokull glacier, may erupt. However, there is no sign of that at present. The Civil Aviation Authority uses this information to advise the air industry of any resulting no-fly zones. It also advises on "red zones" - were ash is present but flights can continue with tougher safety rules

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