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Data insertion in volcanic ash cloud forecasting

Wilkins, K. L., Mackie, S., Watson, M., Webster, H. N., Thomson, D. J. and Dacre, H. F. (2016) Data insertion in volcanic ash cloud forecasting. Annals of Geophysics, 57. ISSN 2037-416X (Fast Track 2)

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To link to this item DOI: 10.4401/ag-6624


During the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in April and May 2010, the London Volcanic Ash  Advisory Centre demonstrated the importance of infrared (IR) satellite imagery for monitoring volcanic ash and validating the Met Office operational model, NAME. This model is used to forecast ash dispersion and forms much of the basis of the advice given to civil aviation. NAME requires a source term describing the properties of the eruption plume at the volcanic source. Elements of the source term are often highly uncertain and significant effort has therefore been invested into the use of satellite observations of ash clouds to constrain them. This paper presents a data insertion method, where satellite observations of downwind ash clouds are used to create effective ‘virtual sources’ far from the vent. Uncertainty in the model output is known to increase over the duration of a model run, as inaccuracies in the source term, meteorological data and the parameterizations of the   modelled processes accumulate. This new technique, where the dispersion model (DM) is ‘reinitialized’ part-­way through a run, could go some way to addressing this.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:55077
Publisher:Institute Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia


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