Atmospheric Dispersion Modellingof Volcanic Emissions
Sammanfattning: Gases and particles released by volcanoes pose a serious hazard to humans and society. Emis-sions can be transported over long distances before being reduced to harmless concentrations.Knowing which areas are, or will be, exposed to volcanic emissions is an important part inreducing the impact on human health or society. In this thesis, the dispersion of volcanic emis-sions is studied using a set of atmospheric models. Two case studies have been performed, onestudying potential ash emission from future eruptions on Iceland, and a second covering SO2 emissions from Mt. Nyiragongo in D.R. CongoThe first study covers long range (∼1,000 km) dispersion of fine ash from explosive erup-tions. Three years of meteorological data are used to repeatedly simulate five eruption scenarios.The resulting concentrations of airborne ash at different times relative the onset of each eruptionis compared to current and previous threshold concentrations used by air traffic controllers. Theash hazard showed a seasonal variation, with a higher probability of efficient eastward transportin winter, compared to summer; summer eruptions pose a more persistent hazard.In the second study, emissions of SO2 from passive degassing at Mt. Nyiragongo is studiedover a one–year period. The meteorological impact on the dispersion is studied by assigninga fixed emission source. Furthermore, flux measurements from the remote sensing data areused to improve the description of the emission source. Gases are generally transported to thenorth-west in June–August and to the south-west in December–January. A diurnal variation dueto land breeze around lake Kivu contributes to high concentrations of SO2 along the northernshore during the night. Daily averaged concentrations in the city of Goma (∼15 km SW of thesource) exceeded the European Union’s air quality standard (125 μg/m 3 ) for 120-210 days overa one year period.
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