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Iceland eruption unlikely to disrupt aviation: geophysicist

world Updated: May 22, 2011 13:59 IST
AFP
Reykjavik. volcanic eruption

The new volcanic eruption in Iceland appears more powerful than last year's flight-halting blast but should not affect international flights, a geophysicist at the Icelandic Meteorological Office said Sunday.

"I don't expect this will have the same effect as Eyjafjoell volcano because the ash is not as fine," Gunnar Gudmundsson told AFP.

"I don't think this will have much of an effect on international flights, or that it will shut down airports abroad," he said, adding however that it could slightly "interfere with domestic flights."

The eruption at Iceland's most active volcano, Grimsvoetn, located at the heart of its biggest glacier Vatnajoekull, began late Saturday, just over a year after the nearby Eyjafjoell erupted.

That eruption shut down large swathes of European airspace for almost a month amid fears the volcanic ash could wreak havoc on aircraft engines.

But experts are quick to note that no two volcanic eruptions are alike, and Gudmundsson said it was unlikely that Grimsvoetn would emit a similar kind of ash -- fine, with very sharp particles -- as found in the massive plume that burst from Eyjafjoell.