Code orange for Kambalny volcanic eruption in Russia

by Hugues Brenot (BIRA-IASB) 18 April 2017

On 24 March 2017, the Kambalny strato-volcano, located in Southern Kamchatka peninsula, in the east of Russia, started to erupt. Orange warning has been attributed by the Russian specialists, indicating threatening dangers for aviation. It means that this volcanic plume can contain ash and SO2 with high concentration and reach a height of 6 to 8 km (threatening international flights or low-flying aircraft). According to the KVERT of the Institute of volcanology and seismology Olga Girina, the last eruption of this volcano happened more than 200 years ago.

The Support to Aviation Control System is part of the Early Warning System developed by EUNADICS-AV project. Notifications sent to Users (like the VAACs of Anchorage and Tokyo) and near-real time monitoring of the volcanic plume of Kambalny (moving over the Pacific Ocean, southeast of Kamchatka) has been achieved, starting on the early morning of the 25th of March 2017 (few hours after the start of this eruption).

Note that in the same time, Kliuchevskoi volcano, located about 600 km north of Kambalny, is also erupting (as observed by OMI SO2 images on 25 and 27 March 2017).





Absorbing Aerosol Index from GOME-2 A & B shows plumes from extreme wildfires in Chile

by Maurits Kooreman ( KNMI) 29 January 2017

Forest fires occur frequently in Chile's hot summers, but persisting droughts and record high temperatures now cause ideal conditions for devastating wildfires. On January 20th Chile declares the state of emergency as wildfires threaten to destroy villages and vineyards. By January 30th the fires have taken 11 lives, burned over 1000 homes and wiped an entire town off the map (source: Reuters).

After raging on for multiple weeks, the persistent fires produced a large scale plume which stretches for thousands of kilometers into the Pacific Ocean. As fires produce soot as well as water vapor, the plumes consist of a mix of the two. Possibly, the smoke particles in the plume are acting as condensation nuclei for the water vapor to condense on, and produce a mix of soot and water droplets. The colorful overlay in Figure 1 shows Absorbing Aerosol Index (AAI), distinguishing the soot particles from the water vapor plume. The AAI is retrieved from the GOME-2 A&B instruments and plotted over a visible spectrum image from the MODIS spectrometer aboard the Terra satellite. The red values indicate an AAI of over 3, where a value of 2 is already considered as indicating significant aerosol presence.