Simulations of volcanic plumes with the ECMWF/MACC aerosol system

TitleSimulations of volcanic plumes with the ECMWF/MACC aerosol system
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsBenedetti, A, Kaiser, J, Morcrette, J-J, Eresmaa, R, Lu, S
Secondary TitleTechnical Memorandum

Volcanic aerosols have a large impact on the society at different levels. In recent years, the eruptions of the volcanoes Eyjafjallajökull in Southern Iceland (April 2010), and the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle in Chile (June 2011) have had a big resonance, due to the disruption to air traffic and the large monetary impact on the aviation industry. Although operational simulations of volcanic plumes is not the task of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security Atmospheric services, the Monitoring Atmospheric Composition and Climate team responded to these events with a series of SO2 tracer simulations that were published on the MACC website shortly after the eruptions. Since that initial effort, there has been a gradual evolution toward a prototype system to handle volcanic eruption in near real time, in support of the work of the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centres and the interested MACC users. This paper describes the initial modifications to the MACC aerosol system to run simulations of volcanic ash plumes. Initial efforts aimed at ad hoc solutions which proved quite effective. Subsequent efforts have established an improved methodology to respond to volcanic events, and to provide timely services. This will be briefly outlined here and described fully in a dedicated paper.