Volcanic Eruption in Grimsvotn, Iceland

Vol­canic Erup­tion in Grimsvotn, Ice­land May 21 2011 from Jon Gustafs­son on Vimeo.

Vol­canic erup­tion in Vat­na­jokull. Shot for — Heli­copter Ser­vice of Ice­land.

Haven’t real­ly had time to watch the video. Vol­cano sea­son keeps me pret­ty busy. I cut it on board the heli­copter on the way back from the erup­tion. Threw some music from the fan­tas­tic com­pos­er Veigar Margeirs­son ( on it and post­ed it here.

It took us 90 min­utes to fly to Grimsvotn with a strong wind against us. The erup­tion looked mag­nif­i­cent in the sun­set. We got there at 11pm. Once we land­ed 5 miles away from the crater the cold glac­i­er air hit us like a truck. We tried to work out­side but I only last­ed for a cou­ple of min­utes. Pilot Reynir Peturs­son also didn’t want to stay on the ground for too long since it was very windy and the ash fall was unpre­dictable. The light was also dis­ap­pear­ing and he needs visu­al ref­er­ence which is dif­fi­cult on a white glac­i­er. Once we got off the ground again we had to stay low because there were so many light­nings all around the erup­tion. Get­ting hit by a light­ning in that strong wind, extreme frost and next to a live vol­cano was not desir­able. We made it back to Reyk­javik at 2am. Now the air­space has been closed in a 20 nau­ti­cal miles radius because of ash.

Last time Grimsvotn erupt­ed was in the fall of 2004. At the time I was mak­ing the doc­u­men­tary Wrath of Gods and the erup­tion became a part of the sto­ry.