<p><strong>Volcanic ash hangs over <a id="r0r4" title="Iceland volcano" href="http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/geopedia/Iceland#Land of Fire and Ice">Iceland</a>'s Eyjafjallajökull <a id="br1i" title="Iceland volcano" href="http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/geopedia/Iceland#Land of Fire and Ice">volcano</a> Thursday, three days after the volcano's latest eruption. (See <a id="f4rz" title="pictures" href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/04/photogalleries/100414-iceland-volcano-flooding-pictures/#iceland-volcano-flooding-new-plumes-steam_18902_600x450.jpg">pictures of the Iceland volcano's most recent reawakening.</a>)</strong><br><br>Clouds of the volcanic ash, which stretched as far as <a id="deai" title="Britain" href="http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/countries/united-kingdom-guide/">Britain</a>, caused international travel chaos today as flights were grounded to and from <a href="http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/continents/europe/">Europe</a>. (Read <a id="yvz4" title="why ash from the Iceland volcano is so dangerous to planes." href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/04/100415-volcanic-ash-cancels-flights-airports-airline-europe-iceland-volcano/">why ash from the Iceland volcano is so dangerous to planes</a>.)</p><p>Airspace in the U.K and several other northern European countries was closed as the volcanic ash—deemed a serious hazard to aircraft engines—drifted westward at heights of between 25,000 and 30,000 feet (about 7,600 to 9,100 meters). (Get more details about the <a href="http://blogs.nationalgeographic.com/blogs/news/chiefeditor/2010/04/volcanic-cloud-engulfs-europe-shuts-down-flights.html">unprecedented shutdown on the NatGeo News Watch blog.</a>) <br><br>When the volcano first erupted after a 200-year respite, on March 20, (see <a id="s:5e" title="pictures" href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/03/photogalleries/100331-iceland-volcano-pictures-aerial/#iceland-volcano-satellite_17846_600x450.jpg">pictures of the Iceland volcano's initial eruption </a>) it spewed mainly fire and lava. But the latest eruption spurted out a cloud of steam, smoke, and ash up to 7 miles (11 kilometers) high.</p><p><em>—James Owen</em></p>

Iceland Volcanic Ash Clogs the Skies

Volcanic ash hangs over Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano Thursday, three days after the volcano's latest eruption. (See pictures of the Iceland volcano's most recent reawakening.)

Clouds of the volcanic ash, which stretched as far as Britain, caused international travel chaos today as flights were grounded to and from Europe. (Read why ash from the Iceland volcano is so dangerous to planes.)

Airspace in the U.K and several other northern European countries was closed as the volcanic ash—deemed a serious hazard to aircraft engines—drifted westward at heights of between 25,000 and 30,000 feet (about 7,600 to 9,100 meters). (Get more details about the unprecedented shutdown on the NatGeo News Watch blog.)

When the volcano first erupted after a 200-year respite, on March 20, (see pictures of the Iceland volcano's initial eruption ) it spewed mainly fire and lava. But the latest eruption spurted out a cloud of steam, smoke, and ash up to 7 miles (11 kilometers) high.

—James Owen

Photograph by Brynjar Gaudi, AP

Pictures: Iceland Volcano Spews Giant Ash Clouds

See the source of the giant volcanic ash clouds that hung over much of northern Europe Thursday, grounding flights.

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