Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2021-264
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2021-264

  15 Sep 2021

15 Sep 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Assessing potential impact of explosive volcanic eruptions from Jan Mayen Island (Norway) on aviation in the North Atlantic

Manuel Titos1, Beatriz Martínez Montesinos2, Sara Barsotti1, Laura Sandri2, Arnau Folch3,4, Leonardo Mingari3, Giovanni Macedonio5, and Antonio Costa2 Manuel Titos et al.
  • 1Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO), Iceland
  • 2Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione di Bologna, Italy
  • 3Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), Spain
  • 4Consejo Superior Investigaciones Cientificas, GEO3BCN, Spain
  • 5Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Osservatorio Vesuviano, Italy

Abstract. Volcanic eruptions are amongst the most jeopardizing natural events due to their potential impacts on life, assets, and environment. In particular, atmospheric dispersal of volcanic tephra and aerosols during the explosive eruptions poses a serious threat to life and has significant consequences for infrastructures and global aviation safety. The volcanic island of Jan Mayen, located in the North Atlantic under trans-continental air traffic routes, is considered the northernmost active volcanic area in the world, with at least five eruptive periods recorded during the last 200 years. However, quantitative hazard assessments on the possible consequences for air traffic of a future ash-forming eruption are nonexistent. This study presents the first comprehensive long-term volcanic hazard assessment for Jan Mayen volcanic island in terms of ash dispersal and airborne tephra concentration at different flight levels. In order to delve in the characterization and modelling of that potential impact, a probabilistic approach based on merging a large number of numerical simulations is adopted, varying the volcano’s Eruptive Source Parameters (ESPs) and meteorological scenario. Each ESP value is randomly sampled following a continuous Probability Density Function (PDF) defined from the Jan Mayen geological record. Over 20 years of climatic data are considered in order to explore the natural variability associated with meteorological conditions and used to run thousands of simulations of the ash dispersal model FALL3D on a 2 km-resolution grid. The simulated scenarios are combined to produce probability maps of airborne ash concentration, arrival time and persistence at different flight levels in the atmosphere. The resulting maps represent an aid to civil protection, decision makers and aviation stakeholders in assessing and preventing the potential impact from a future eruption at Jan Mayen.

Manuel Titos et al.

Status: open (until 09 Nov 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on nhess-2021-264', Keith Beven, 27 Sep 2021 reply
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Manuel Titos Luzon, 15 Oct 2021 reply

Manuel Titos et al.

Manuel Titos et al.

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Short summary
This work addresses a quantitative hazard assessments on the possible impact on air traffic of a future ash-forming eruption in Jan Mayen Island. Through HPC resources, we numerically simulate the transport of ash clouds and its concentration at different flight levels over a geographical area covering Iceland and the U.K using the FALL3D model. This approach allows us to derive a set of probability maps explaining the extent and persisting concentration conditions of ash clouds.
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