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Determination of time- and height-resolved volcanic ash emissions and their use for quantitative ash dispersion modeling: the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption

Stohl, A. and Prata, A. J. and Eckhardt, S. and Clarisse, L. and Durant, A. and Henne, S. and Kristiansen, N.I. and Minikin, Andreas and Schumann, U. and Seibert, P. and Stebel, K. and Thomas, H.E. and Thorsteinsson, T. and Tørseth, K. and Weinzierl, Bernadett (2011) Determination of time- and height-resolved volcanic ash emissions and their use for quantitative ash dispersion modeling: the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 11, pp. 4333-4351. DOI: 10.5194/acp-11-4333-2011. ISSN 1680-7316.

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Official URL: http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/11/4333/2011/

Abstract

The April-May, 2010 volcanic eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland caused significant economic and social disruption in Europe whilst state of the art measurements and ash dispersion forecasts were heavily criticized by the aviation industry. Here we demonstrate for the first time that large improvements can be made in quantitative predictions of the fate of volcanic ash emissions, by using an inversion scheme that couples a priori source information and the output of a Lagrangian dispersion model with satellite data to estimate the volcanic ash source strength as a function of altitude and time. From the inversion, we obtain a total fine ash emission of the eruption of 8.3±4.2 Tg for particles in the size range of 2.8-�28 μm diameter. We evaluate the results of our model results with a posteriori ash emissions using independent ground-based, airborne and space-borne measurements both in case studies and statistically. Subsequently, we estimate the area over Europe affected by volcanic ash above certain concentration thresholds relevant for the aviation industry. We find that during three episodes in April and May, volcanic ash concentrations at some altitude in the atmosphere exceeded the limits for the "�Normal" flying zone in up to 14% (6-�16 %), 2% (1-�3 %) and 7% (4-�11 %), respectively, of the European area. For a limit of 2 mg m−3 only two episodes with fractions of 1.5% (0.2-�2.8%) and 0.9% (0.1-�1.6%) occurred, while the current "�No-Fly" zone criterion of 4 mg m−3 was rarely exceeded. Our results have important ramifications for determining air space closures and for real-time quantitative estimations of ash concentrations. Furthermore, the general nature of our method yields better constraints on the distribution and fate of volcanic ash in the Earth system.

Document Type:Article
Title:Determination of time- and height-resolved volcanic ash emissions and their use for quantitative ash dispersion modeling: the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Stohl, A.NILU, Kjeller, N
Prata, A. J.NILU, Kjeller, N
Eckhardt, S.NILU, Kjeller, N
Clarisse, L.Univ. Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, B
Durant, A.NILU, Kjeller, N
Henne, S.Empa, Dübendorf, CH
Kristiansen, N.I.NILU, Kjeller, N
Minikin, AndreasDLR
Schumann, U.DLR
Seibert, P.BOKU, Vienna, A
Stebel, K.NILU, Kjeller, N
Thomas, H.E.Michigan Technological Univ., Houghton, MI, USA
Thorsteinsson, T.Univ. of Iceland, Reykjavik, IS
Tørseth, K.NILU, Kjeller, N
Weinzierl, BernadettDLR
Date:2011
Journal or Publication Title:Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Refereed publication:Yes
In Open Access:Yes
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:11
DOI:10.5194/acp-11-4333-2011
Page Range:pp. 4333-4351
ISSN:1680-7316
Status:Published
Keywords:Eyjafjalla Eyjafjallajökull, Volcano ash
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Aeronautics
HGF - Program Themes:L VU - Air Traffic and Environment (old)
DLR - Research area:Aeronautics
DLR - Program:L VU - Air Traffic and Environment
DLR - Research theme (Project):L - Low-Emission Air Traffic (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Atmospheric Trace Species
Deposited By: Jana Freund
Deposited On:28 Jul 2011 11:24
Last Modified:12 Dec 2013 21:20

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