Here are some facts about Eyjafjallajokull.
- Eyjafjallajokull is a volcano that is entirely covered by an ice cap. It is located on the south coast of the island of Iceland, about 3km inland.
- Its unusual and difficult to pronounce name comes from the combination of various words with different meanings. Different parts of the name mean island, mountain and glacier.
- The ice cap covers an area of about 100 square km, although it is one of the smallest ice caps in the country. Iceland has about 130 volcanic mountains.
- Eyjafjallajokull is what is known as a stratovolcano, meaning it has a large, steep sided cone. Mount Etna and Mount Vesuvius are also stratovolcanoes and are among the most destructive.
- The volcano is 1,651 metres high, with a crater of up to 4 km in diameter, containing 3 main peaks. The mountain was once part of the coast, although it has now retreated.
- Although active, Eyjafjallajokull usually goes several centuries between eruptions, erupting in 920, 1612, 1821 and 2010. The ash from the 1821 eruption can still be found in the area.
- The eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in May 2010 resulted in the grounding of thousands of flights all over Europe. It was the highest level of air travel disruption since World War 2.
- The initial eruption caused a 500 metre fissure in a nearby pass. The ash plume that was created reached a height of 11 km.
- The ash cloud reached as far as the south coast of England, Germany and parts of western Russia. Farmers in Iceland were warned to not let livestock drink from water tainted by the ash.
- Another glacier covered volcano, Katla, is located about 25 km away from Eyjafjallajokull. In the past, an eruption at Eyjafjallajokull was always followed by an eruption at Katla, although in 2010 the volcano was quiet.
What next? Discover more volcano facts by visiting our volcanoes resources page.