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Grimsvotn Eruption 2011: Iceland Volcano Sends Plume 18,000 Feet In The Air (PHOTOS)

05/21/2011 08:59 pm ET | Updated Jul 21, 2011

Iceland's most active volcano has erupted, sending a plume of white ash 18,000 feet into the air.

Grimsvotn's eruption, which was accompanied by small earthquakes, comes just one year after the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted, sending a cloud of ash over Europe that impeded air travel. According to the AP, a no-fly zone has been put into effect 120 nautical miles surrounding the location of this event.

"The ash in Eyjafjallajokull was persistent or unremitting and fine-grained," Einarsson said. "The ash in Grimsvotn is more coarse and not as likely to cause danger as it falls to the ground faster and doesn't stay as long in the air as in the Eyjafjallajokull eruption."

A plane from the Icelandic Coast Guard carrying experts from the University of Iceland will fly over the volcano and evaluate the situation.

The volcano lies under the Vatnajokull glacier in southeast Iceland, according to the AP. The area is uninhabited.

The map below gives a good idea of where the eruption happened in relation to the country and its capital, Reykjavik.

Grimsvotn last erupted in 2004, and scientists have been expecting a new eruption for some time.

You can see images of the enormous plume and previous eruptions below.

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