Influence of weather conditions on particulate matter suspension following the 2010 eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption

Mary K. Butwin*, Sibylle VON LÖWIS, Melissa A. Pfeffer, Pavla Dagsson-Waldhauserova, Johann Thorsson, Throstur Thorsteinsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull produced volcanic ash that was mostly deposited to the south and east of the volcano, with the thickest deposits closest to the eruption vents. For months following the eruption there were numerous reports of resuspended volcanic ash made by weather observers on the ground. A saltation sensor (SENSIT) and an optical particle counter (OPC) located on the southern side of Eyjafjallajökull measured posteruptive particulate matter (PM) saltation and suspension events, some of which were also observable by satellite imagery. During the autumn/winter following the eruption, visible satellite images and the SENSIT show that PM measured by the OPC was only detected when winds had a northerly component, making the source on the slopes of Eyjafjallajökull. During the largest observed events, particles >10 μm were suspended but measured in extremely low concentrations (<1 particle per centimeter cubed). The saltation measurements, however, show high concentrations of particles >100 μm in size during these events. During the largest events, winds were at least 5 m s-1 with a relative humidity < 70%. Ground conditions in Iceland change quickly from unfavorable to favorable for the suspension of particles. It is hypothesized that this is due to the porosity of the surface material allowing water to filter through quickly as well as the fast drying time of surface material. The high moisture content of the atmosphere and the ground do not appear to be a deterrent for large PM events to occur in Iceland.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalEarth Interactions
Volume24
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments. The study discussed in this paper was funded through the Icelandic Research Fund Rannís Grant 152587-051. We thank Professor K. Weber and Engineer C. Fischer, University of Applied Sciences, Dusseldorf, Germany, for providing us with the OPC data and Magðalena Jónsdóttir from Drangshlíðardalur for the support of the measurements. In addition, we acknowledge the use of imagery from the NASA Worldview application (https://worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov), part of the NASA Earth Observing System Data and Information

Funding Information:
The study discussed in this paper was funded through the Icelandic Research Fund Rann?s Grant 152587-051. We thank Professor K. Weber and Engineer C. Fischer, University of Applied Sciences, Dusseldorf, Germany, for providing us with the OPC data and Mag?alena J?nsd?ttir from Drangshl??ardalur for the support of the measurements. In addition, we acknowledge the use of imagery from the NASA Worldview application (https://worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov), part of the NASA Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS). The preparation of this paper was funded by the Czech Science Foundation under the HLD-CHANGE project ??The Role of High Latitude Dust in Changing Climate?? (20-06168Y). Meteorological data are available by request through the Icelandic Meteorological Office.

Funding Information:
System (EOSDIS). The preparation of this paper was funded by the Czech Science Foundation under the HLD-CHANGE project ‘‘The Role of High Latitude Dust in Changing Climate’’ (20-06168Y). Meteorological data are available by request through the Icelandic Meteorological Office.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Meteorological Society.

Other keywords

  • Aerosols
  • Aerosols/particulates
  • Air quality and health
  • Particulates
  • Volcanoes

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