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Article

The Development of Volcanic Ash Cloud Layers over Hours to Days Due to Atmospheric Turbulence Layering

1
Center for Geohazards Studies, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA
2
Earth Observatory of Singapore and Asian School of the Environment, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798, Singapore
3
Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne, VIC 3001, Australia
4
NOAA Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA
5
Natural Hazards Consulting, Montmorency, VIC 3094, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Masato Iguchi
Atmosphere 2021, 12(2), 285; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12020285
Received: 5 January 2021 / Revised: 4 February 2021 / Accepted: 18 February 2021 / Published: 23 February 2021
Volcanic ash clouds often become multilayered and thin with distance from the vent. We explore one mechanism for the development of this layered structure. We review data on the characteristics of turbulence layering in the free atmosphere, as well as examples of observations of layered clouds both near-vent and distally. We then explore dispersion models that explicitly use the observed layered structure of atmospheric turbulence. The results suggest that the alternation of turbulent and quiescent atmospheric layers provides one mechanism for the development of multilayered ash clouds by modulating vertical particle motion. The largest particles, generally μ>100 μm, are little affected by turbulence. For particles in which both settling and turbulent diffusion are important to vertical motion, mostly in the range of 10–100 μμm, the greater turbulence intensity and more rapid turbulent diffusion in some layers causes these particles to spend greater time in the more turbulent layers, leading to a layering of concentration. The results may have important implications for ash cloud forecasting and aviation safety. View Full-Text
Keywords: turbulence; eddy diffusivity; ash layer; volcanic cloud; ash cloud; Pinatubo; aviation safety turbulence; eddy diffusivity; ash layer; volcanic cloud; ash cloud; Pinatubo; aviation safety
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bursik, M.; Yang, Q.; Bear-Crozier, A.; Pavolonis, M.; Tupper, A. The Development of Volcanic Ash Cloud Layers over Hours to Days Due to Atmospheric Turbulence Layering. Atmosphere 2021, 12, 285. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12020285

AMA Style

Bursik M, Yang Q, Bear-Crozier A, Pavolonis M, Tupper A. The Development of Volcanic Ash Cloud Layers over Hours to Days Due to Atmospheric Turbulence Layering. Atmosphere. 2021; 12(2):285. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12020285

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bursik, Marcus, Qingyuan Yang, Adele Bear-Crozier, Michael Pavolonis, and Andrew Tupper. 2021. "The Development of Volcanic Ash Cloud Layers over Hours to Days Due to Atmospheric Turbulence Layering" Atmosphere 12, no. 2: 285. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12020285

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