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Sulphur Dioxide as a Volcanic Ash Proxy During the April–may 2010 Eruption of Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, Iceland : Volume 11, Issue 3 (07/03/2011)

By Thomas, H. E.

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Book Id: WPLBN0003995963
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 24
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Sulphur Dioxide as a Volcanic Ash Proxy During the April–may 2010 Eruption of Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, Iceland : Volume 11, Issue 3 (07/03/2011)  
Author: Thomas, H. E.
Volume: Vol. 11, Issue 3
Language: English
Subject: Science, Atmospheric, Chemistry
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection (Contemporary), Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Thomas, H. E., & Prata, A. J. (2011). Sulphur Dioxide as a Volcanic Ash Proxy During the April–may 2010 Eruption of Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, Iceland : Volume 11, Issue 3 (07/03/2011). Retrieved from

Description: Department of Geological Engineering and Sciences, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI, USA. The volcanic ash cloud from the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull volcano in April and May 2010 resulted in unprecedented disruption to air traffic in Western Europe causing significant monetary loses and highlighting the importance of efficient volcanic cloud monitoring. The feasibility of using SO2 as a tracer for the ash released during the eruption is investigated here through comparison of ash retrievals from the Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI) with SO2 measurements from a number of infrared and ultraviolet satellite-based sensors. Results demonstrate that the eruption can be divided into an initial ash-rich phase, a lower intensity middle phase and a final phase where considerably greater quantities of both ash and SO2 were released. Comparisons of ash-SO2 dispersion indicate that despite frequent collocation of the two species, there are a number of instances throughout the eruption where separation is observed. This separation occurs vertically due to the more rapid settling rate of ash compared to SO2, horizontally through wind shear and temporally through volcanological controls on eruption style. The potential for the two species to be dispersed independently has consequences in terms of aircraft hazard mitigation and highlights the importance of monitoring both species concurrently.

Sulphur dioxide as a volcanic ash proxy during the April–May 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, Iceland

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