Navigation Links
Volcanic ash research shows how plumes end up in the jet stream
Date:4/19/2010

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A University at Buffalo volcanologist, an expert in volcanic ash cloud transport, published a paper recently showing how the jet stream -- the area in the atmosphere that pilots prefer to fly in -- also seems to be the area most likely to be impacted by plumes from volcanic ash.

"That's a problem," says Marcus I. Bursik, PhD, one of the foremost experts on volcanic plumes and their effect on aviation safety, "because modern transcontinental and transoceanic air routes are configured to take advantage of the jet stream's power, saving both time and fuel.

"The interaction of the jet stream and the plume is likely a factor here," says Bursik, professor of geology in the UB College of Arts and Sciences. "Basically, planes have to fly around the plume or just stop flying, as they have, as the result of this eruption in Iceland."

In some cases, if the plume can be tracked well enough with satellites, pilots can steer around the plume, he notes, but that didn't work in this case because the ash drifted right over Britain.

Bursik participated in the first meetings in the early 1990s between volcanologists and the aviation industry to develop methods to ensure safe air travel in the event of volcanic eruptions. He and colleagues authored a 2009 paper called "Volcanic plumes and wind: Jet stream interaction examples and implications for air traffic" in the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research.

"In the research we did, we found that the jet stream essentially stops the plume from rising higher into the atmosphere," he says. "Because the jet stream causes the density of the plume to drop so fast, the plume's ability to rise above the jet stream is halted: the jet stream caps the plume at a certain atmospheric level."

Bursik says that new techniques now in development will be capable of producing better estimates of where and when ash clouds from volcanoes will travel.

He and his colleagues have proposed a project with researchers at the University of Alaska that would improve tracking estimates to find out where volcanic ash clouds are going.

"What we get now is a mean estimate of where ash should be in atmosphere," says Bursik, "but our proposal is designed to develop both the mean estimate and estimates of error that would be more accurate and useful. It could help develop scenarios that would provide a quantitative probability as to how likely a plane is to fly through the plume, depending on the route."

Bursik also is working with other researchers at UB, led by UB geology professor Greg Valentine, on a project called VHub, a "cyber infrastructure for collaborative volcano research and mitigation."

VHUB would speed the transfer of new tools developed by volcanologists to the government agencies charged with protecting the public from the hazards of volcanic eruptions. That international project, which Valentine heads up at UB, with researchers at Michigan Technological University and the University of South Florida, was funded recently by the National Science Foundation.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ellen Goldbaum
goldbaum@buffalo.edu
716-645-4605
University at Buffalo
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New satellite image of volcanic ash cloud
2. British scientific expedition discovers worlds deepest known undersea volcanic vents
3. Volcanic hazard map produced for island of Gran Canaria
4. Earths highest known microbial systems fueled by volcanic gases
5. UMCES fisheries biologist Dr. David Secor receives USM Regents Faculty Award for research
6. UC Riverside entomologist recognized for research in citrus entomology
7. NIDCD-funded chemosensory researchers present findings at AChemS 2010 Meeting
8. Cancer health disparities research highlighted at AACR 101st Annual Meeting 2010
9. Advocates and researchers educate community about cancer in game show format
10. UDs Zhuang wins NSF Early Career Award for research on how cells bypass damaged DNA
11. TGen-Asuragen partner to advance pancreatic cancer research
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/24/2017)... April 24, 2017 Janice Kephart ... with  Identity Strategy Partners, LLP (IdSP) , today ... without President Trump,s March 6, 2017 Executive ... , refugee vetting can be instilled with greater confidence, ... now, all refugee applications are suspended by until ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... Calif. , April 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a global ... of a media edge server, the M820, which features the company,s ... recognition software provided by Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased during ... at the NAB show at the Las Vegas ... ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... 13, 2017 UBM,s Advanced Design and Manufacturing ... feature emerging and evolving technology through its 3D Printing ... run alongside the expo portion of the event and ... demonstrations focused on trending topics within 3D printing and ... manufacturing event will take place June 13-15, 2017 at the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2017)... Washington, and WASHINGTON, DC, USA (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2017 ... ... driver of the economy as well as an enabler of life-saving medical and other ... for optics and photonics . They joined others in the scientific community today in ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... , ... May 23, 2017 , ... A recent survey ... most troublesome and difficult to control weed in 12 categories of broadleaf crops, fruits ... 200 weed scientists across the U.S. and Canada participated in the 2016 survey, the ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... , ... May 22, 2017 , ... ... Photonics 2017 in San Diego, California, this August will feature high-level speakers ... and autonomous vehicles. , SPIE Optics and Photonics, the largest multidisciplinary optical sciences ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... ... Bacterial biofilms, surface adherent communities of bacteria that are encased in a ... and catheter infections to gum disease and the rejection of medical implants. Though ... year, there is currently a paucity of means for preventing their formation or treating ...
Breaking Biology Technology: