Bulletin of Volcanology

, Volume 74, Issue 1, pp 1–10 | Cite as

Future developments in modelling and monitoring of volcanic ash clouds: outcomes from the first IAVCEI-WMO workshop on Ash Dispersal Forecast and Civil Aviation

  • Costanza BonadonnaEmail author
  • Arnau Folch
  • Susan Loughlin
  • Herbert Puempel
Short Scientific Communication


As a result of the serious consequences of the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption (Iceland) on civil aviation, 52 volcanologists, meteorologists, atmospheric dispersion modellers and space and ground-based monitoring specialists from 12 different countries (including representatives from 6 Volcanic Ash Advisory Centres and related institutions) gathered to discuss the needs of the ash dispersal modelling community, investigate new data-acquisition strategies (i.e. quantitative measurements and observations) and discuss how to improve communication between the research community and institutions with an operational mandate. Based on a dedicated benchmark exercise and on 3 days of in-depth discussion, recommendations have been made for future model improvements, new strategies of ash cloud forecasting, multidisciplinary data acquisition and more efficient communication between different communities. Issues addressed in the workshop include ash dispersal modelling, uncertainty, ensemble forecasting, combining dispersal models and observations, sensitivity analysis, model variability, data acquisition, pre-eruption forecasting, first simulation and data assimilation, research priorities and new communication strategies to improve information flow and operational routines. As a main conclusion, model developers, meteorologists, volcanologists and stakeholders need to work closely together to develop new and improved strategies for ash dispersal forecasting and, in particular, to: (1) improve the definition of the source term, (2) design models and forecasting strategies that can better characterize uncertainties, (3) explore and identify the best ensemble strategies that can be adapted to ash dispersal forecasting, (4) identify optimized strategies for the combination of models and observations and (5) implement new critical operational strategies.


Explosive volcanism Volcanic ash cloud Atmospheric dispersion Source term parameters Operational forecasting Data acquisition 



All workshop participants (Appendix 2) are especially thanked for their enthusiastic contributions and hard work before, during and after the actual workshop and for the development of the consensual document, which represents the fundamental base of this manuscript. In particular, we would like to thank A. Durant, M. Pavolonis, P. Webley, R. Genco, M. Gouhier and G. Pappalardo for helping with the compilation of Tables 2 and 3, all data-acquisition experts that provided information to compile the Data-Acquisition Summary Document available at our website and all modelling groups for running the benchmark exercise and providing the information to compile the Model Summary Document also available at our website. Special thanks also to the convenors of the workshop sections (T. Casadevall, J. Phillips, M. Watson) for their crucial contribution and to the constructive reviews of M. Guffanti, M. Ripepe and J. White. This workshop was made possible by the support of our sponsors, and, in particular, the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Geneva, the Canton of Geneva, the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior and the World Meteorological Organization.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Costanza Bonadonna
    • 1
    Email author
  • Arnau Folch
    • 2
  • Susan Loughlin
    • 3
  • Herbert Puempel
    • 4
  1. 1.Earth and Environmental Sciences SectionUniversity of GenevaGenevaSwitzerland
  2. 2.Barcelona Supercomputing CenterBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.British Geological SurveyEdinburghUK
  4. 4.World Meteorological OrganizationGenevaSwitzerland

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