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Qualitative comparison of Mount Redoubt 2009 volcanic clouds using the PUFF and WRF-Chem dispersion models and satellite remote sensing data

Abstract

Satellite remote sensing data presents an important tool to map and analyze airborne volcanic ash, both spatially and temporally. However, such data only represents an instant in time. To supplement the satellite data and to forecast plume and cloud movement, volcanic ash transport and dispersion models are used. Mount Redoubt Volcano erupted in March and April 2009 with 19 detected events. By analyzing events 5 and 19, we show how satellite data can be used in combination with PUFF and the Weather Research and Forecast model with online Chemistry (WRF-Chem). WRF-Chem has been combined and initialized with a volcanic eruption model. PUFF as well as WRF-Chem show a good assessment of the plume characteristics compared to the satellite data. Especially for event 19, we observed a very close match between WRF-CHEM and satellite data, where PUFF showed an offset of the predicted plume.

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