Project

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Combining geophysical observations and numerical modelling for an improved prediction of volcanic ash dispersal

English title Combining geophysical observations and numerical modelling for an improved prediction of volcanic ash dispersal ash-dispersal-forecasting strategy
Applicant Bonadonna Costanza
Number 137942
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Département des sciences de la Terre Université de Genève
Institution of higher education University of Geneva - GE
Main discipline Mineralogy
Start/End 01.02.2012 - 31.01.2016
Approved amount 299'271.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Mineralogy
Other disciplines of Earth Sciences

Keywords (4)

volcanic ash; geophysical monitoring; risk; explosive volcanism

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary

The April-May 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull volcano (Iceland) caused an unprecedented breakdown of the global airspace with large economic losses. This event dramatically demonstrated the limits of the precautionary “zero-ash tolerance” criteria in the case of long-lasting eruptions affecting wide areas with dense air traffic, such as the case of Europe. It is likely that near-future strategies adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization, or their state members Competent National Authorities, will include the delimitation of contaminated regions based on airborne ash concentration thresholds (such as the ones adopted by the UK Civil Aviation Authority during the Eyjafjallajökull crisis). This demands efforts from many different agents, from turbine manufactures (that should specify engine tolerable ash doses) to scientists (that should improve and optimize modelling strategies for the description of the volcanic ash dispersal). As members of the international volcanological community dealing with ash-dispersal modelling and characterization, we have the responsibility to develop ad hoc solutions for ash-forecasting systems combined with a better understanding of the source parameters (i.e., dynamics of the eruptive plume). This implies a large multidisciplinary effort involving volcanologists, modellers, geophysicists and fluiddynamicists. Main goal of this research project includes the real-time determination of crucial eruptive parameters (i.e., plume height, mass eruption rate, grainsize distribution). We will focus on the calibration and validation of geophysical observations for the optimization of real-time detection of eruptive parameters and on the characterization of plume dynamics and particle sedimentation. This will require the development of a better understanding and interpretation of acquired geophysical data (i.e., acoustics, thermal and Doppler radar) and their direct link with the source parameters. The project will be tested and calibrated on the next Icelandic eruption (with a 70% probability of a moderate explosive eruption occurring in Iceland in the next year and 95% occurring in the next 5 years) and will build on a better description of plume dynamics and particle sedimentation based on new dedicated geophysical and field observations. The economic losses and the widespread disruption caused by the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption, and the high probability of having another similar volcanic event in the Atlantic region, are a strong indication of the urgency of the realization of such a project, whose outcomes are also crucial to our general understanding of plume dynamics and particle sedimentation and to a better interpretation of geophysical monitoring.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Lattice Boltzmann modeling to explain volcano acoustic source
Brogi Federico, Ripepe Maurizio, Bonadonna Costanza (2018), Lattice Boltzmann modeling to explain volcano acoustic source, in Scientific Reports, 8(1), 9537-9537.
Hermite regularization of the lattice Boltzmann method for open source computational aeroacoustics
Brogi F., Malaspinas O., Chopard B., Bonadonna C. (2017), Hermite regularization of the lattice Boltzmann method for open source computational aeroacoustics, in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 142(4), 2332-2345.
Reference data set of volcanic ash physicochemical and optical properties
Vogel A., Diplas S., Durant A. J., Azar A. S., Sunding M. F., Rose W. I., Sytchkova A., Bonadonna C., Krüger K., Stohl A. (2017), Reference data set of volcanic ash physicochemical and optical properties, in Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 122(17), 9485-9514.
Future Developments and New Directions in Modeling and Monitoring Volcanic Ash Clouds
Bonadonna Costanza (2014), Future Developments and New Directions in Modeling and Monitoring Volcanic Ash Clouds, in Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union, 95(7), 64-64.
Acoustic wavefield and Mach wave radiation of flashing arcs in strombolian explosion measured by image luminance
Genco Riccardo, Ripepe Maurizio, Marchetti Emanuele, Bonadonna Costanza, Biass Sebastien (2014), Acoustic wavefield and Mach wave radiation of flashing arcs in strombolian explosion measured by image luminance, in Geophysical Research Letters, 41, 7135-7142.
Ash-plume dynamics and eruption source parameters by infrasound and thermal imagery: The 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption
Ripepe M., Bonadonna C., Folch A., Delle Donne D., Lacanna G., Marchetti E., Höskuldsson A. (2013), Ash-plume dynamics and eruption source parameters by infrasound and thermal imagery: The 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption, in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 366, 112-121.
Impact of wind on the condition for column collapse of volcanic plumes
Degruyter Wim, Bonadonna Costanza (2013), Impact of wind on the condition for column collapse of volcanic plumes, in Earth andPlanetaryScienceLetters, 218-226.
Improving on mass flow rate estimates of volcanic eruptions
Degruyter Wim, BonadonnaCostanza (2012), Improving on mass flow rate estimates of volcanic eruptions, in GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, L16308-L16308.
Ash-plume dynamicsanderuptionsourceparametersbyinfrasoundand thermal imagery:The2010 Eyjafjallajokull eruption
Ripepe Maurizio Bonadonna Costanza et al., Ash-plume dynamicsanderuptionsourceparametersbyinfrasoundand thermal imagery:The2010 Eyjafjallajokull eruption, in Earth andPlanetaryScienceLetters.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Dr Malaspinas Orestis (CUI, Department d'Informatique, University of Geneva) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Bastien Chopard (CUI, Departement d'Informatique, University of Geneva) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Dr Jean Luc Falcone (CUI, Department d'Informatique, University of Geneva) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Armann Hoskuldsonn (University of Iceland) Iceland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Maurizio Ripepe (University of Florence) Italy (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting Talk given at a conference Towards a Numerical Description of Volcano Aeroacoustic Source Processes using Lattice Boltzmann Strategies 14.12.2015 San Francisco, United States of America Bonadonna Costanza; Falcone Jean-Luc; Brogi Federico;
Italian National Conference on Condensed Matter Physics (FISMAT) Talk given at a conference Towards the numerical modelling of volcano aeroacoustic source processes using Lattice Boltzamnn strategies 28.09.2015 Palermo, Italy Bonadonna Costanza; Falcone Jean-Luc; Brogi Federico;
24th Discrete Simulation of Fluid Dynamics Talk given at a conference Optimized Lattice Boltzmann strategies for computational aeroacoustics 13.07.2015 Edinburgh, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Brogi Federico; Bonadonna Costanza;
European Geosciences Union General Assembly Talk given at a conference Development and validation of a 3D Lattice Boltzmann model for volcano aeroacoustic 12.04.2015 Vienna, Austria Bonadonna Costanza; Brogi Federico; Falcone Jean-Luc;
Final ARISE meeting Talk given at a conference Development and validation of a 3D Lattice Boltzmann model for volcano aeroacoustics 01.12.2014 Grainau, Germany Brogi Federico;
Workshop on particle transport with emphasis on stochastics Talk given at a conference Volcanic plumes and particle sedimentation 06.11.2014 Aarhus, Denmark Brogi Federico; Bonadonna Costanza;
2nd ARISE Workshop Talk given at a conference Volcanic plumes and ash dispersal 25.03.2014 florence, Italy Bonadonna Costanza;
2nd ARISE Workshop Poster 3D Lattice-Boltzmann strategies: New insights into Volcanic Plume Dynamics and Infrasound 25.03.2014 Florence, Italy Brogi Federico;
NEMOH school on Numerical Modelling Poster 3D Lattice-Boltzmann strategies: New insights into Volcanic Plume Dynamics and Infrasound 18.09.2013 Bristol, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Brogi Federico; Bonadonna Costanza;
IAVCEI 2013 Scientific Assembly Poster 3D Lattice-Boltzmann strategies: New insights into Volcanic Jet Dynamics and Infrasound 20.07.2013 Kagoshima, Japan Bonadonna Costanza; Brogi Federico;
ARISE Workshop Poster 3D Lattice-Boltzmann strategies: New insights into Volcanic Plume Dynamics and Infrasound 03.06.2013 Observatoire de Haute-Provence, St. Michel l'Observatoire, France Brogi Federico;
1st NEMOH Network School Poster 3D Lattice-Boltzmann strategies: New insights into Volcanic Plume Dynamics and Infrasound 17.02.2013 Munich, Germany, Germany Brogi Federico;
1st ARISE Workshop Poster 3D Lattice-Boltzmann strategies: New insights into Volcanic Plume Dynamics and Infrasound, 18.09.2012 Reading, UK, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Brogi Federico;
1st MeMoVolc summer school on Volcanic Ash Poster 3D Lattice-Boltzmann strategies: New insights into Volcanic Plume Dynamics and Infrasound 25.06.2012 Catania, Italy, Italy Bonadonna Costanza; Brogi Federico;


Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
VAAC ‘Inputs and Outputs’ Modelling Workshop Performances, exhibitions (e.g. for education institutions) 05.11.2012 Washington DC, USA, United States of America Bonadonna Costanza;


Self-organised

Title Date Place

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: radio, television 19:30 le journal RTS Western Switzerland 2013
Media relations: print media, online media Des avions et des cendre le journal de l'UNIGE Western Switzerland 2013
Media relations: radio, television Hilfe für Piloten: Vulkanasche besser erkennen SRF German-speaking Switzerland 2013
Media relations: radio, television Wenn Vulkanasche den Flugverkehr lahmlegt SRF German-speaking Switzerland 2013

Awards

Title Year
Best Poster at ARISE Workshop, 3-5 June 2013, Observatoire de Haute-Provence, St. Michel l'Observatoire, France 2013

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
169463 Modelling settling-driven gravitational instabilities from volcanic clouds 01.09.2017 Project funding
116335 Characterization of the dynamics and the products of basaltic explosive volcanism 01.07.2007 Project funding
125024 Numerical, experimental and field investigations of particle aggregation 01.08.2009 Project funding

Abstract

The April-May 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull volcano (Iceland) caused an unprecedented breakdown of the global airspace with large economic losses. This event dramatically demonstrated the limits of the precautionary “zero-ash tolerance” criteria in the case of long-lasting eruptions affecting wide areas with dense air traffic, such as the case of Europe. It is likely that near-future strategies adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization, or their state members Competent National Authorities, will include the delimitation of contaminated regions based on airborne ash concentration thresholds (such as the ones adopted by the UK Civil Aviation Authority during the Eyjafjallajökull crisis). This demands efforts from many different agents, from turbine manufactures (that should specify engine tolerable ash doses) to scientists (that should improve and optimize modelling strategies for the description of the volcanic ash dispersal). As members of the international volcanological community dealing with ash-dispersal modelling and characterization, we have the responsibility to develop ad hoc solutions for ash-forecasting systems (optimized forecasting strategies) combined with a better understanding of the source parameters (both plume dynamics and initial conditions). This implies a large multidisciplinary effort involving volcanologists, modellers, geophysicists and fluid-dynamicists. The accuracy of ash transport models strongly depends on the definition of critical eruptive parameters, namely the eruption column (column height and erupted mass flow rate) and the granulometric properties of ash. Constraining these eruptive parameters during real-time forecasting is complex because traditional measurements are based on dedicated fieldwork and/or lab processing. Moreover, eruptive columns often show a transient behavior and a strong interaction with the surrounding wind field that add difficulty to the syn-eruptive forecasts. Nonetheless, if operational models have to compute ash concentration with accuracy, a better constrain of these inputs and their associated uncertainty will become a must. Main goals of this research proposal include: i) real-time determination of crucial eruptive parameters (i.e., plume height, mass eruption rate, grainsize distribution) and coupling with numerical models, and ii) the characterization and treatment of ash-forecasting uncertainty related to both input parameters and dispersal models through the implementation of ensemble strategies. The project will be tested and calibrated on the next Icelandic eruption (with a 70% probability of a VEI 4 eruption occurring in Iceland in the next year and 95% occurring in the next 5 years) and will build on a better description of plume dynamics and particle sedimentation based on new dedicated geophysical and field observations. We will tackle such a complex task with two companion subprojects. Subproject A will focus on the calibration and validation of geophysical observations for the optimization of real-time detection of eruptive parameters and on the characterization of plume dynamics and particle sedimentation. This will require the development of a better understanding and interpretation of acquired geophysical data (i.e., acoustics, thermal and Doppler radar) and their direct link with the source parameters. Subproject B will implement and validate our newly developed Cellular-Automata-Lattice-Boltzmann (CA-LB) model based on the findings of Subproject A and will develop new strategies for both real-time coupling of geophysical data and numerical models and ensemble forecasting for both input parameters and dispersal models. In particular, ensemble forecasting will stochastically investigate initial conditions after the identification of appropriate probability density functions and will also explore model variability through the coupling of our newly developed 3D CA-LB model and two other numerical models, namely FALL3D and NAME. The success of the combined subprojects is guaranteed by the unique expertise of the research team involved (including volcanologists, modellers, geophysicists and fluid dynamicists) and by the multidisciplinary strategies adopted (i.e. combination of state-of-the-art modelling techniques, geophysical monitoring and field observations) coupled with an active collaboration with a key operational institution, such as the London Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre, also fostered by the National Civil Aviation Authority of Switzerland (FOCA). As a result, this project represents a tremendous and unique opportunity to make rapid and substantial advances in our understanding of plume dynamics and sedimentation processes combined with the development of timely optimized forecasting techniques with obvious implications for risk reduction. This is also in line with the research priorities and recommendations identified during the first IAVCEI-WMO meeting on Ash Dispersal Forecast and Civil Aviation (Geneva, October 2010) and by the International Volcanic Ash Task Force. The economic losses and the widespread disruption caused by the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption, and the high probability of having another similar volcanic event in the Atlantic region, are a strong indication of the urgency of the realization of such a project (see letter of support of National Civil Aviation Authority of Switzerland, FOCA), whose outcomes are also crucial to our general understanding of plume dynamics and particle sedimentation and to a better interpretation of geophysical monitoring.
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