Lava fountains are pictured at the site of a fissure
eruption near Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano. Photo by
Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano poured out lava from a new
opening in the ground, closer to the Dyngjujokull glacier, but
there was still no ash emerging from the eruption.
So far, lava has reached the surface only on land that is not
covered by ice, whereas an eruption under an ice cap may be
explosive and result in an ash cloud that could under certain
circumstances disrupt aviation.
"It hasn't reached the glacier yet and hopefully it won't,
but it's not unlikely that it will," said Einar Heidarsson, a
spokesman for Iceland's Civil Protection Department.
In 2010, a cloud of abrasive ash from the Eyjafjallajokull
volcano, in a different region of Iceland, closed much of
Europe's air space for six days after an eruption under the
ice cap. The new fissure is about 4 km(2.5 miles) from the
Scientists were now inspecting the new fissure from the air
and authorities were awaiting their findings, Heidarsson
The ash warning for aviation still stood at orange, the
second-highest level on a five-colour scale indicating a risk
of ash that could hinder air traffic, after a brief hike to
the top level - red - on Sunday.
"Of course, as soon as it starts to erupt under the glacier,
the beautiful lava you see now could possibly turn into ash,
but at the moment there is no ash eruption going on,"