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Scientists 'read' the ash from the Icelandic volcano 2 years after its eruption
Date:5/11/2012

volcanic aerosols when no other measures are available," outlines the researcher Carlos Toledano from the University of Valladolid and member of the AERONET-RIMA network.

From their stations it was confirmed that "there is great variation between the size and characteristics of the volcanic aerosol particles over successive periods." This was also verified by members of another European Network, EMEP (European Monitoring and Evaluation Program), which traces atmospheric pollution and is managed in Spain by the National Meteorological Agency. This group confirmed an increase in aerosols and their sulphate concentrations over the Iberian Peninsula and recorded the presence of sulphur dioxide from the Icelandic volcano.

Models and Predictions

The large part of observations of Eyjafjallajkull's eruption, which were taken from aeroplanes, satellites or from earth, helped scientists validate their prediction and particle dispersion models.

"During the management of the crisis it became evident that there are still no precise models that provide real time data for delimiting an affected airspace, for example," admits Toledano. Nevertheless, his team put the FLEXPART model to test using empirical data. From the Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU), it managed to calculate the arrival of volcanic ash in certain situations.

The powerful equipment available at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC-CNS) was used on this occasion to validate a model which had been developed at the centre: the Fall3d. As one of the authors Arnau Folch states, "the model can be applied to the dispersion of any type of particle. But, in practice, it has been especially designed for particles of volcanic origin, like ash."

Volcanologists and metereologists use this model to re-enact past events and, above all, to make predictions. More specifically it predicts the amount of aerosols in the ground and their concentration in the a
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FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

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