La notte dei ricercatori e delle ricercatrici 2021
24 Settembre

Ambiente e Sostenibilità

Volcanic Plume Transport from Etna

Volcanic Plume Transport from Etna

The purpose of the present project is to investigate the effects of variable eruption source parameters on volcanic plume transport in the Mediterranean basin after the paroxysm of Mount Etna on November 23, 2013. This paroxysm was characterized by a north-east transport of ash and gas, caused by a low-pressure system in northern Italy. It is evaluated here in a joint approach considering the WRF-Chem model configured with eruption source parameters (ESP) obtained elaborating the raw data from the VOLDORAD-2B (V2B) Doppler radar system. This allows the inclusion of the transient and fluctuating nature of the volcanic emissions to accurately model the atmospheric dispersion of ash and gas. Two model configurations have been considered, the first with the climax values for the ESP and the second with the time varying ESP according to the time profiles of the mass eruption rate recorded by the V2B radar. It is demonstrated that the second configuration produces a considerably better comparison with satellite retrievals from different sensors platforms (Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite, Meteosat Second Generation Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager and Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite). In the context of volcanic ash transport dispersion modeling, our results indicate the need for (i) the use of time varying ESP, and (ii) a joint approach between an online coupled chemical transport model like WRF-Chem and direct near-source measurements such as those carried out by the V2B Doppler radar system.


The purpose of the present project is to investigate the effects of variable eruption source parameters on volcanic plume transport in the Mediterranean basin after the paroxysm of Mount Etna on November 23, 2013. This paroxysm was characterized by a north-east transport of ash and gas, caused by a low-pressure system in northern Italy. It is evaluated here in a joint approach considering the WRF-Chem model configured with eruption source parameters (ESP) obtained elaborating the raw data from the VOLDORAD-2B (V2B) Doppler radar system. This allows the inclusion of the transient and fluctuating nature of the volcanic emissions to accurately model the atmospheric dispersion of ash and gas. Two model configurations have been considered, the first with the climax values for the ESP and the second with the time varying ESP according to the time profiles of the mass eruption rate recorded by the V2B radar. It is demonstrated that the second configuration produces a considerably better comparison with satellite retrievals from different sensors platforms (Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite, Meteosat Second Generation Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager and Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite). In the context of volcanic ash transport dispersion modeling, our results indicate the need for (i) the use of time varying ESP, and (ii) a joint approach between an online coupled chemical transport model like WRF-Chem and direct near-source measurements such as those carried out by the V2B Doppler radar system.