Using Satellite Imagery to assess the ash cloud after volcanic eruption - UPDATED 20/4/2010

Volcanic eruption Iceland on April 15, 2010 - DLR evaluating satellite data to investigate the effects of the eruptions on the atmosphere.

ZKI/DLR examines the volcano ashes in the atmosphere using several satellite sensors (NOAA-19 AVHRR, Meteosat-9, GOME-2)

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Source: DLR

DLR Scientists Investigate Gigantic Ash Cloud After Volcanic Eruption

The Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull has ejected large quantities of ash and sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere during its eruptions on 21 March and 15 April. Scientists from the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) are evaluating satellite images to investigate the effects of the eruptions on the atmosphere.

The images give crucial information about the direction and speed at which the ash cloud is spreading. It is still too early for an accurate assessment of the consequences of the Icelandic eruption. "In general, volcanic eruptions offer an opportunity to examine the propagation of trace materials such as sulphur dioxide, in detail. This was done, for example, in the 1990s after the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines," explain the researchers.

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Source: DLR

DLR: High concentration of dust in the atmosphere

On Monday at 16 clock, the DLR research aircraft Falcon 20E "in Oberpfaffenhofen, at the Icelandic volcano Eyafjallajoküll in the atmosphere to examine the ash cloud. The route runs through Leipzig, Hamburg and Holland along the south border to Frankfurt and Stuttgart. The flight lasted about three hours.

During flight was the heights between two and twelve kilometers measured. All measurement systems have on board is functioning properly. The LIDAR is a remote sensing instrument, meters laser pulses emitted and 10,000 that of the atmosphere back scattered from light receives. This concentration profiles of aerosol particles can be derived.

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Source: DLR

Satellite data improve aviation safety

Thousands of planes are grounded across Europe due to the spread of volcanic ash following the recent eruption under Iceland's Eyjafjallajoekull glacier. Volcanic eruptions eject large amounts of ash and trace gases such as sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere, often reaching the altitudes of scheduled flights.

When flying through a volcanic ash cloud, ash particles enter the jet engines which can result in engine failure. The ash can also severely damage the material of the aircraft, clog its sensors, limit the view of its pilots, and severely scratch, or 'sandblast', cockpit windows, landing light covers and parts of the tail and wings.

Every year there are about 60 volcanic eruptions. Ground-based monitoring is carried out on only a limited number of volcanoes. In fact, most volcanoes, especially those which are remotely located, are not monitored on a regular basis. Therefore, observations of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and aerosols derived from satellite measurements in near-real time can provide useful complementary information to assess, on a global level, possible impacts of volcanic eruptions on air traffic control and public safety.

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Source: ESA

NASA Observes Ash Plume of Icelandic Volcano

On Saturday, April 17, 2010, the Hyperion instrument onboard NASA's Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) spacecraft obtained this pair of images of the continuing eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano. In the left-hand image, created from visible wavelengths, new black ash deposits are visible on the ground, as well as nearby brilliant unsullied ice and snow and the volcano's brown, billowing plume. The plume's dark color reflects its large ash content. These fine particles of pulverized rock are carried high into the atmosphere, where they create a hazard for aviation and are carried long distances by the prevailing winds.

In contrast, the false-color, infrared image at the right reveals the intense thermal emissions (at least 60 megawatts, or 60 million watts) emanating from the vent at the base of the massive plume. This thermal emission, equivalent to the energy consumption of 60,000 homes, represents only a small proportion of the total energy being released by the volcano as its molten lava interacts violently with ice and water. Each image covers an area measuring 7.7 kilometers (4.8 miles) wide, and has a resolution of 30 meters (98 feet) per pixel. The vertical direction is north-northeast.

The EO-1 spacecraft is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. EO-1 is the satellite remote-sensing asset used by the Volcano Sensor Web developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., which is being used to monitor this, and other, volcanic eruptions around the world.

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Source: NASA

NASA Continues to Track Persistent Iceland Volcano

The continuing eruption of Iceland'sEyjafjallajökull volcano was observed Mon., April 19, 2010, by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument onboard NASA's Terra spacecraft. The new image shows a white eruption column being carried toward the south by prevailing winds. The image is dominated by the gray, ash-laden eruption cloud dispersed south and east by the winds, blowing from the southern Iceland coast toward Europe. The bright red areas mark the hot lava at the current vent (upper left), and the still-hot lava flows from the earlier phases of the eruption (upper center). The high-temperature material is revealed by ASTER's thermal infrared bands.

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Source: NASA


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