Hazard Maps and Source Parameters for Volcanic Ash Transport

E. Bruce Pitman. Dept of Mathematics, Unviersity at Buffalo

Volcanic ash advisory centers are charged with forecasting the movement of volcanic ash plumes. These plumes can impact aviation, agriculture, and health. Deterministic mathematical equations model the advection and dispersion of these plumes. However initial plume conditions such as height, particle size distribution, and volcanic vent parameters, are known only approximately. A principal feature of ash propagation is the windfield, which is stochastic. All these uncertainties make forecasting plume motion difficult. As a result of these uncertainties, ash advisories based on a deterministic approach tend to be conservative, and many times over/under estimate the extent of a plume. Here we discuss an end-to-end framework for generating a probabilistic approach to ash plume forecasting.