Large-scale atmospheric pollutant spreading via volcano eruptions and industrial accidents may have serious effects on our life. However, many students and non-experts are generally not aware of the fact that pollutant clouds do not disperse in the atmosphere like dye blobs on clothes. Rather, an initially compact pollutant cloud soon becomes strongly stretched with filamentary and folded structure. This is the result of the chaotic behaviour of advection of pollutants in 3-D flows, i.e., the advection dynamics of pollutants shows the typical characteristics such as sensitivity to the initial conditions, irregular motion, and complicated but well-organized (fractal) structures. This study presents possible applications of a software called RePLaT-Chaos by means of which the characteristics of the long-range atmospheric spreading of volcanic ash clouds and other pollutants can be investigated in an easy and interactive way. This application is also a suitable tool for studying the chaotic features of the advection and determines two quantities which describe the chaoticity of the advection processes: the stretching rate quantifies the strength of the exponential stretching of pollutant clouds; and the escape rate characterizes the rate of the rapidity by which the settling particles of a pollutant cloud leave the atmosphere.
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