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Invited Talk: Emergency Forecasting of Volcanic Gas Dispersion
DescriptionIn the event of a volcanic eruption it is vital to be able to predict the spread of volcanic gases. Such gases can cause respiratory problems and, if the concentrations are high enough, burns to skin and asphyxiation. This is particularly relevant near to the eruption site, and when the eruption occurs in a region with a high degree of geographical complexity, such as Iceland, where dense gases can settle in low-lying areas. This presentation will describe some of the basics of modeling volcanic plume dispersion, including highly complex simulations that capture the spread of volcanic gases. In March 2021 and August 2022, there were fissure eruptions on the Reykjanes Peninsula in Iceland. Following the initial notification from Iceland, the National Center for Atmospheric Science obtained an emergency allocation of 256 processors from the UK Supercomputer, ARCHER2. A modified version of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model was then used to simulate volcanic gas dispersion operationally, and the simulations shared with colleagues in Iceland. The model, implementation on the supercomputer, and workflow (from initial notification to uploading of results) will be described.