Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Electric ash found in Eyjafjallajokull's plume, say UK researchers

27.05.2010
In the first peer-reviewed scientific paper to be published about the Icelandic volcano since its eruption in April 2010, UK researchers write that the ash plume which hovered over Scotland carried a significant and self-renewing electric charge.

The volcano-chasing researchers argue this adds a further dimension to understanding the detailed nature of volcanic plumes and their effects on air travel.

The paper, to be published today, Thursday 27 May, in IOP Publishing's Environmental Research Letters, is published as the UK continues to face the possibility of further flight disruption from future volcanic activity.

Shortly after the volcano's active eruption phase began in mid-April, the Met Office contacted Joseph Ulanowski from the Science and Technology Research Institute at the University of Hertfordshire, who last year, together with Giles Harrison from the Department of Meteorology at the University of Reading, had developed a specialist weather balloon which could assess the location and composition of the volcanic ash clouds.

Their balloons, originally designed and used to study the properties of desert dust clouds, are able to assess not only the size of atmospheric particles but also the electric charge present.

Measurements made last year with the balloons in Kuwait and off the west coast of Africa showed clearly that desert dust could become strongly electrified aloft. Charging modifies particle behaviour, such as how effectively particles grow and are removed by rain.

A hastily scrambled team travelled to a site near Stranraer in Scotland where a balloon was launched, detecting a layer of volcanic ash 4km aloft, about 600m thick, with very abrupt upper and lower edges.

From their measurements, the researchers conclude that neither energy from the volcanic source - more than 1200 kilometres away - nor weather conditions could have been responsible for the position of the charge found by the balloon.

The presence of charge deep inside the plume, rather than on its upper and lower edges, contradicts expectations from models assuming solely weather-induced charging of layer clouds.

Giles Harrison said, "Detailed volcanic plume properties, such as the particle size, concentration and charge found by our weather balloon are important in predicting the impact on aircraft."

The paper can be found in IOP Publishing's open-access journal Environmental Research Letters at http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/5/2/024004/fulltext from Thursday 27 May.

Joe Winters | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.iop.org

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Black hole spin cranks-up radio volume
15.01.2018 | National Institutes of Natural Sciences

nachricht The universe up close
15.01.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

White graphene makes ceramics multifunctional

16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

Breaking bad metals with neutrons

16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

ISFH-CalTeC is “designated test centre” for the confirmation of solar cell world records

16.01.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>