The eruption at Eyjafjallajökull glacier

Jagged flecks of ash spewed into the air may have boosted the effects of the 2010 eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano, which paralyzed flights across Europe, a new study finds.

The ash plume from Eyjafjallajökull caused turmoil in the air for nearly a month. Still, the eruption was a relatively small event. For instance, the plume never reached more than about 6 miles (10 kilometers) in height, and the volcano only spewed out about 9.5 billion cubic feet (270 million cubic meters) of ash over the course of several months, while some eruptions can spew out many times more than that in the span of a single day.

The reason that Eyjafjallajökull had such widespread influence was due to how the volcano’s ash spread unusually far and stayed for an oddly long time in the atmosphere. To learn more about why this was, a group of scientists collected ash samples from across Iceland.

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Video: courtesy of sjorsenzo

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