Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Electric ash found in Eyjafjallajokull's plume, say UK researchers

Date:
May 28, 2010
Source:
Institute of Physics
Summary:
In the first peer-reviewed scientific paper to be published about the Icelandic volcano since its eruption in April 2010, UK researchers write that the ash plume which hovered over Scotland carried a significant and self-renewing electric charge.

Eruption of the volcano Eyjafjallajokull in South Iceland.
Credit: iStockphoto/Jochen Scheffl

In the first peer-reviewed scientific paper to be published about the Icelandic volcano since its eruption in April 2010, UK researchers write that the ash plume which hovered over Scotland carried a significant and self-renewing electric charge.

Related Articles


The volcano-chasing researchers argue this adds a further dimension to understanding the detailed nature of volcanic plumes and their effects on air travel.

The paper, to be published May 27 in IOP Publishing's Environmental Research Letters, is published as the UK continues to face the possibility of further flight disruption from future volcanic activity.

Shortly after the volcano's active eruption phase began in mid-April, the Met Office contacted Joseph Ulanowski from the Science and Technology Research Institute at the University of Hertfordshire, who last year, together with Giles Harrison from the Department of Meteorology at the University of Reading, had developed a specialist weather balloon which could assess the location and composition of the volcanic ash clouds.

Their balloons, originally designed and used to study the properties of desert dust clouds, are able to assess not only the size of atmospheric particles but also the electric charge present.

Measurements made last year with the balloons in Kuwait and off the west coast of Africa showed clearly that desert dust could become strongly electrified aloft. Charging modifies particle behaviour, such as how effectively particles grow and are removed by rain.

A hastily scrambled team travelled to a site near Stranraer in Scotland where a balloon was launched, detecting a layer of volcanic ash 4km aloft, about 600m thick, with very abrupt upper and lower edges.

From their measurements, the researchers conclude that neither energy from the volcanic source -- more than 1200 kilometres away -- nor weather conditions could have been responsible for the position of the charge found by the balloon.

The presence of charge deep inside the plume, rather than on its upper and lower edges, contradicts expectations from models assuming solely weather-induced charging of layer clouds.

Giles Harrison said, "Detailed volcanic plume properties, such as the particle size, concentration and charge found by our weather balloon are important in predicting the impact on aircraft."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Institute of Physics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. R G Harrison, K a Nicoll, Z Ulanowski, T A Mather. Self-charging of the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic ash plume. Environmental Research Letters, 2010; DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/5/2/024004

Cite This Page:

Institute of Physics. "Electric ash found in Eyjafjallajokull's plume, say UK researchers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100527013219.htm>.
Institute of Physics. (2010, May 28). Electric ash found in Eyjafjallajokull's plume, say UK researchers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100527013219.htm
Institute of Physics. "Electric ash found in Eyjafjallajokull's plume, say UK researchers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100527013219.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) — Lava from an active volcano on Hawaii's Big Island slowed slightly but stayed on track to hit a shopping center in the small town of Pahoa. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) — A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) — The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) — The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, thanks in part to something called feedback. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins