Articles | Volume 16, issue 14
Research article
28 Jul 2016
Research article |  | 28 Jul 2016

Adjusting particle-size distributions to account for aggregation in tephra-deposit model forecasts

Larry G. Mastin, Alexa R. Van Eaton, and Adam J. Durant

Related subject area

Subject: Clouds and Precipitation | Research Activity: Atmospheric Modelling | Altitude Range: Troposphere | Science Focus: Physics (physical properties and processes)
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Cited articles

Armienti, P., Macedonio, G., and Pareschi, M. T.: A numerical model for simulation of tephra transport and deposition: Applications to May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens eruption, J. Geophys. Res., 93, 6463–6476, 1988.
Barsotti, S., Neri, A., Bertagnini, A., Cioni, R., Mulas, M., and Mundula, F.: Dynamics and tephra dispersal of Violent Strombolian eruptions at Vesuvius: insights from field data, wind reconstruction and numerical simulation of the 1906 event, Bull. Volcanol., 77, 1–19,, 2015.
Biass, S., Scaini, C., Bonadonna, C., Folch, A., Smith, K., and Höskuldsson, A.: A multi-scale risk assessment for tephra fallout and airborne concentration from multiple Icelandic volcanoes – Part 1: Hazard assessment, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 14, 2265–2287,, 2014.
Bonadonna, C. and Costa, A.: Estimating the volume of tephra deposits: A new simple strategy, Geology, 40, 415–418,, 2012.
Bonadonna, C. and Houghton, B. F.: Total grain-size distribution and volume of tephra-fall deposits, Bull. Volcanol., 67, 441–456, 2005.
Short summary
During volcanic eruptions, fine ash settles out of the atmosphere to form deposits. Particle aggregation makes it difficult for models to calculate where fine ash will fall. In this study we show that the Ash3d dispersion model can accurately predict where fine ash will land if one assumes a Gaussian size distribution of aggregates, ~ 0.18–0.23 mm in diameter and 600 kg m−3 in density. This aggregation scheme has optimally reproduced deposits for four well-documented eruptions.
Final-revised paper