Measurements of Particle Distribution and Ash Fluxes in the Plume of Sakurajima Volcano with Optical Particle Counter
Jonas Elíasson*,**, Junichi Yoshitani**, Daisuke Miki**, Konradin Weber***, Christoph Bölke***, and Emad Scharifi***
*Earthquake Research Institute, University of Iceland
Austurvegur 2a, Selfoss, Iceland
**Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
***Environmental Measurement Techniques, University of Applied Sciences, Düsseldorf, Germany
Volcanic eruptions have caused very costly disturbances of international air traffic. This problem has been dealt with by simulating the formation and migration of dangerous ash plumes. However, the results of the simulations have sometimes been too safe, producing ash clouds that are too large. This was especially the case for the North Atlantic in 2010 (Eyjafjallajökull) and 2011 (Grímsvötn). Since 2012, an international cooperation team led by the Disaster Prevention Research Institute (DPRI) of Kyoto University has conducted airborne measurements of volcanic ash concentrations in the plume from Mount Sakurajima in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. This volcano was chosen because of its frequent but limited eruptions, which allow close observation. These measurement campaigns have provided data showing gravitational flattening of the plume, a new and previously unknown dispersion process of volcanic plumes. A new and previously unknown fallout process, called streak fallout, also has been measured. Results concerning plume flux, concentration distributions, aerosol (PM10) content of the plume, and content of very fine particles (PM2.5 and PM1) are presented, and the ways by which the observational methods can be used to produce reliable initial data and boundary values for simulations of plume dispersion are discussed.
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