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The Impact of Eruption Source Parameter Uncertainties on Ash Dispersion Forecasts During Explosive Volcanic Eruptions

The Impact of Eruption Source Parameter Uncertainties on Ash Dispersion Forecasts During Explosive Volcanic Eruptions


Title: The Impact of Eruption Source Parameter Uncertainties on Ash Dispersion Forecasts During Explosive Volcanic Eruptions
Author: Dioguardi, Fabio
Beckett, Frances
Dürig, Tobias   orcid.org/0000-0002-7453-4369
Stevenson, John   orcid.org/0000-0002-2245-1334
Date: 2020-08-31
Language: English
Scope: e2020JD032717
University/Institute: Háskóli Íslands
University of Iceland
School: Verkfræði- og náttúruvísindasvið (HÍ)
School of Engineering and Natural Sciences (UI)
Department: Jarðvísindastofnun (HÍ)
Institute of Earth Sciences (UI)
Series: Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres;125(17)
ISSN: 2169-897X
2169-8996 (eISSN)
DOI: 10.1029/2020JD032717
Subject: Buoyant plume models; Dispersion modeling; Eruption source parameters; Explosive volcanic eruptions; Volcanic ash; Sprengigos; Aska; Spálíkön
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/2198

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Citation:

Dioguardi, F., Beckett, F., Dürig, T., & Stevenson, J. A. (2020). The impact of eruption source parameter uncertainties on ash dispersion forecasts during explosive volcanic eruptions. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 125, e2020JD032717. https://doi.org/10.1029/2020JD032717

Abstract:

Volcanic ash in the atmosphere is a hazard to aviation. To predict which areas of airspace are most likely to be affected by the presence of ash, Volcanic Ash Advisory Centers (VAACs) use observations and atmospheric dispersion models. These models are initialized with, among other parameters, a mass eruption rate (MER), which quantifies the emission rate into the atmosphere at the source. This influences the predicted spatial–temporal evolution and concentration of the ash cloud. Different models are available to estimate MER from the volcanic plume height and some models also include the weather conditions (e.g., wind speed). The REFIR software tool uses time-series of plume height estimated from observations and weather data to provide estimates of MER through time. Here we present an updated version of REFIR that can now be used also to calculate MER for past eruptions and produce output parameters in a format suitable for use with the NAME dispersion model (UK Met Office—London VAAC). We also investigate how uncertainty in input parameters is propagated through to dispersion model output. Our results show that a +/−1 km uncertainty on a 6 km high plume can result in the affected area ranging by a factor of three between the minimum and maximum estimates. Additionally, we show that using wind-affected plume models results in affected areas that are five times larger than using no-wind-affected models. This demonstrates the sensitivity of MER to the type of plume model chosen (no-wind- vs. wind-affected).

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This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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