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NH2.1/AS3.19

Atmospheric emissions from volcanoes and their dispersion (co-organized)
Convener: Shona Mackie  | Co-Conveners: Stefano Corradini , Elisa Carboni 
Orals
 / Wed, 15 Apr, 13:30–17:00  / Room G6
Posters
 / Attendance Wed, 15 Apr, 17:30–19:00  / Blue Posters
Emissions from volcanoes can pose a major hazard both near to the volcano and in the far field. Volcanic ash has a melting point close to the operating temperature of many aircraft engines and so can cause engine failure, in addition to sandblasting and visibility problems. The 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajokull demonstrated the huge economic cost that can follow from airspace closure, and the widespread disruption to freight-related services worldwide, highlighting how critical it is to have the knowledge to constrain the hazard in space in time. Airborne ash and SO2 are also known to cause respiratory problems for both humans and livestock, even when in relatively low concentrations. Effective monitoring is required in order to issue timely warnings to those potentially affected. Closer to the volcano, dense ashfall can smother crops, leaving land unproductive for a long time afterwards, and in some cases can cause structural collapse of buildings, thereby endangering life and infrastructure. Further to these incentives for accurate observation and monitoring, interpretation of emissions can yield useful information about the volcano itself and provide an aid to predicting the evolution of an eruption, and to understanding volcanic processes.

Volcanic emissions can consist of a broad range of materials, with a correspondingly broad range of properties. This creates many challenges for their observation, both close to the source, where a wide variety of instruments can be used (logistics allowing), and in the far-field, where ground- and air-based observations (when available) can be combined with satellite observations. Using such observations to constrain and inform forecast models for timely warning of potential hazards is a challenging area of ongoing research.

We invite abstracts presenting novel techniques for observing volcanic emissions from ground-, air- and space-based instruments, and for the use of such observations in dispersion modelling. Abstracts describing the effective validation of both new and existing methods for the observation and forecasting of volcanic emissions are also invited – we are interested in both comparisons between different methods, and in uncertainty assessments for specific methods.