Sulphur Dioxide Cloud Over Reykjavík - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Sulphur Dioxide Cloud Over Reykjavík

Published November 4, 2014

Photos by
Screenshot from Mila.is

Sulphur dioxide levels in the capital area were so high today that a cloud of the volcanic gas could be seen hanging over Reykjavík.

MBL reports that levels of sulphur dioxide from the Holuhraun eruption were high enough in the capital area to be cause for concern. SO2 concentrations reportedly reached 700 to 1,600 µg/m³ in the east Reykjavík neighbourhood of Grafarvogur. Levels above 600 µg/m³ are considered high enough to warrant advising people with lung conditions to stay indoors.

Levels were in fact high enough to be visible to the naked eye, casting a grey pall over the capital. Hallgrímskirkja, which is normally visible from the east Reykjavík offices of Morgunblaðið, was almost completely obscured by sulphur dioxide.

Tomorrow, the seemingly ever-flowing cloud of SO2 will swing northeast, and concentrations are predicted to be especially high. While only deadly in very high concentrations, sulphur dioxide is noxious, causing burning of the eyes and throat. Those with lung conditions are advised to stay indoors on especially bad days, keeping their windows closed and their heaters up.

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