92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Wednesday, 25 January 2012: 11:30 AM
The Identification and Tracking of Volcanic Ash Using the Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infra-Red Imager (SEVIRI)
Room 357 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Aaron Naeger, University of Alabama - Huntsville, Huntsville, AL; and S. A. Christopher

This study analyzes the volcanic ash released from the Eyjafjallajökull eruption. The volcano began emitting large amounts of ash into the atmosphere on April 14, 2010. As the volcano continued erupting over the next several days, the atmospheric winds transported the ash over Great Britain and Northern Europe which had a tremendous impact on air traffic. The many flight cancellations that occurred over the week following the initial eruption proved extremely costly to the airline industry. However, the damaging effects of volcanic ash on commercial airplanes can be deadly. Therefore, it is critical that we closely and accurately track volcanic ash during an eruption period. Satellite remote sensing is a very important tool to track the volcanic ash, especially geostationary satellites such as SEVIRI which can track the ash at a high temporal resolution of 15 minutes. Thus, this study tracks the volcanic ash from the initial eruption on April 14 until the eruption period was declared over on May 23. At times, significant amounts of volcanic ash are identified by SEVIRI, but extensive cloud cover throughout the eruption period made it extremely difficult to track most of the ash. This study will discuss the method and results of the SEVIRI algorithm used to track the volcanic ash. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP), and DLR Falcon research aircraft observations will also be used to validate the results of the SEVIRI algorithm.

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