IMAGE: Volcanic plume associated with the April-May 2010 eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano (Iceland) and scanning electron microscope image of a typical ash cluster made up of micrometric volcanic particles collected on a… view more
Credit: © UNIGE, Costanza Bonadonna
When the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland erupted in April 2010, air traffic was suspended for six days and then disrupted until May. Until then, the models of the nine Volcanic Ash Advisory Centers (VAACs) around the world, which aimed to predict when the ash cloud interfered with air routes, had been based on tracking clouds in the atmosphere. As a result of this economic disaster for airlines, ash concentration thresholds have been introduced in Europe, which is used by the airline industry when making decisions on flight restrictions. However, a team of researchers, led by the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, found that even the smallest volcanic ash did not behave as expected. Its results, be read in the journal Nature Communications, will help refine the way volcanic ash is represented in the forecast models used by the…
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