Volcanic eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland - Scientific background information

A contribution to the SAVAA project of
(latest additions at the bottom of the page)
Relevant links
A volcanic eruption in Iceland has lead to a closure of the air space in wide parts of Europe because of volcanic ahs hazard. The Institute of Meteorology of BOKU is involved in a project for the improvement of the forecasts of such volcanic ash clouds and has created a collection of scientific background information. Volcanological information and measurement data

Dispersion calculations - simulation of volcanic ash proxy Attention, all presently (i.e., April/May 2010) available simulations are qualitative and are based on coarse emission estimates, thus concentrations are also not quantitative.

  • Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre London (UK Met. Office). This is the institution officially responsible for warnings.
    • up-to-data ash warning maps (updated in 6 h intervals, forecasts up to +24 h). Shows contaminated regions in different layers of the atmosphere.
      SF=surface, FL200 = flight level 200 = 20.000 ft = ca. 7 km

  • NILU.no (SAVAA project coordinator, see below for information on SAVAA project) has online automated FLEXPART simulations for Eyja with rich options for output visulation: (Links hinzugefügt 20.4./18:45)
  • Norwegian Meteorological Service (Met.no)
    • has calculated different forecasts (up to 4 days in advance) of ash dispersal

  • Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie (Austrian Met. Service) Vienna
    • MSG satellite image movie shows the ash cloud tranport and dispersal
    • Trajektory calculations
    • FLEXPART simulation from 16.4. (particle dispersion model)
      GIF movie showing concentration in the layer 1-2 km assuming emissions between 2 and 12 km above the volcano. The ash cloud may cover larger areas as shown in this chart.
    • FLEXPART simulation from 17.4.
      This simulation is calculated with an emission between 1.5 and 8 km and shows concentration in the whole troposphere (0-11 km). In addition, the dry and wet deposition is considered. Colours sho the amount of ash in qualitative form.
    • Simulations were updated continuously, look at menu on l.h.s. on the ZAMG page!

  • RIU/Uni Köln: Simulation with EURAD chemistry-transport-model (Link added 20.4./12:15). Assumption for source: continuous emission in the layer 0-10 km, after 19.4./18 UTC only 0-4 km) Only concentrations at 5 km and 10 km height.
  • GMES-MACC Eyja page und detail page (MACC: EU-GMES Project Monitoring Atmospheric Composition and Climate):  with global simulation and regional simulation (=RIU-EURAD as above). Loops require Java! All these simulations with Euler models, thus smoother distributions and fewer filaments of the plume! (Link added 20.4./15:30)

Project SAVAA

BOKU-Met is participating in a project to improve volcanic ash warnings for air traffic:SAVAA. 

EGU 2010 General Assembly Vienna: Union Symposium Eyjafjallajökull - eruption, plume, and consequences

Oral Programme / Room 36 / Tue, 04 May, 18:30–20:00
/ Room 36 / Thu, 06 May, 18:30–20:00
Poster Programme

/ Hall A / Wed, 05 May, 08:00–19:30 Posters will be BOTH in HALL A (A516 to A538) and HALL XL (XL377-XL395.

(Link hinzugefügt 30.4./15:10) ESA/EUMETSAT Workshop on Volcanic Ash Plume Monitoring on 26/27 May at Frascati

(update 6 Oct 2010) European Commission response: DG Mobility and Transport's Ash cloud crisis page, includes "Volcano Crisis Report": Report on the actions undertaken in the context of the impact of the volcanic ash cloud crisis on the air transport industry (PDF). (update 9 Dec 2010)


Special Report on Volcanic Ash Cloud web page with a lot of information, including Ashcloud Impact on Air Traffic Analysis, June 2010 (PDF). (update 9 Dec 2010)

Responsible for this page: Univ.-Doz.in Dr. Petra Seibert Corrections and additions welcome Last update:  9 Dec 2010