Explosive volcanic eruptions can eject vast amounts of pyroclastic material into Earth´s atmosphere. The finest size fraction - volcanic ash – is easily transportable for great distances and generates thereby significant hazard potential for human life, infrastructures and the environment. Specifically, ash has global as well as short- and long-term impacts on modern societies via 1) influencing Earth's radiation budget, 2) changing atmospheric chemistry and physics and ultimately climate, 3) posing structural issues in inhabited, developed or cultivated areas, 4) affecting agricultural land and hydrosphere, 5) presenting (respiratory) health concern and 6) disturbing modern transport systems. Any of those can lead to consequent economic loss.
Volcanic ash contains a wealth of information about the physical and chemical processes acting both during its formation and the subsequent life cycle. Qualitative and quantitative analysis can shed light on processes during magma genesis and ascent(e.g. magma composition, volatile content, crystallinity, temperature), as well as during and after an eruption (e.g. eruption dynamics, dispersion, interaction with gas, aggregation, deposition and resuspension).
There has been significant progress in several fields, leading to a rapid shift of our paradigm of ash life cycle. With this multidisciplinary session, we aim to bring together observational, experimental and theoretical investigations conducted on volcanic ash concerning all aspects of this life cycle from its 1) generation mechanism, 2) detection and quantification in clouds and plumes, 3) transport in ash clouds, to its 4) interaction with surrounding gas and ash, and ultimate 5) the consequences of its distribution and related impact (on aviation, lung diseases, electrical systems, etc). We welcome all types of studies, including interdisciplinary and integrated approaches to broaden our current view of volcanic ash-related processes.
-Matthew Watson, University of Bristol, UK
Invited Early Career Scientist speaker:
-Adrian Hornby, University of Liverpool, UK