Whether you do much traveling or have simply watched the news recently, no doubt you’ve heard of the recent volcanic eruption in Iceland, of a volcano that has a name with an amusing name due to its difficult pronunciation: Eyjafjallajokull. The problems it’s caused, however, are much worse than trying to pronounce the name. Stranding air travelers for days and emitting such large plumes of ash, these problems are reaching far beyond Iceland’s borders.

The recent explosion follows an explosion in the same volcano that occurred last month, and scientists worry it may trigger the eruptions of other volcanoes.  Flights to many major European airports and cities have been delayed for fear of decreased visibility and the possibility of ash and other particles clogging or obstructing some of an airplane’s most important functions – including engine activity.

There are noticeable similarities and differences when comparing the eruptions of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull and Alaska’s Mt. Redoubt.  Last year, Mt. Redoubt’s volcanic activity also put a halt to air travel, but the biggest difference is the lava within the two monstrosities. 

Iceland’s volcanoes are more apt to having lava that can flow long distances, while Alaska’s volcanoes’ lava tends to be stickier and not flow as far.  A definite similarity between the two is that fact that, despite differing lava-types, both can cause big problems and even bigger destruction.

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