Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2122/500
AuthorsPfeiffer, T.* 
Costa, A.* 
Macedonio, G.* 
TitleA model for the numerical simulation of tephra fall deposits
Issue Date2005
Series/Report no.140
DOI10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2004.09.001
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/2122/500
KeywordsAsh fall
Settling velocity
Computer model
Vesuvius 79 A.D.
Subject Classification05. General::05.01. Computational geophysics::05.01.05. Algorithms and implementation 
AbstractA simple semianalytical model to simulate ash dispersion and deposition produced by sustained Plinian and sub-Plinian eruption columns based on the 2D advection-dispersion equation was applied. The eruption column acts as a vertical line source with a given mass distribution and neglects the complex dynamics within the eruption column. Thus, the use of the model is limited to areas far from the vent where the dynamics of the eruption column play a minor role. Vertical wind and diffusion components are considered negligible with respect to the horizontal ones. The dispersion and deposition of particles in the model is only governed by gravitational settling, horizontal eddy diffusion, and wind advection.The model accounts for different types and size classes of a user-defined number of particle classes and changing settling velocity with altitude. In as much as wind profiles are considered constant on the entire domain, the model validity is limited to medium-range distances (about 30–200 km away from the source). The model was used to reconstruct the tephra fall deposit from the documented Plinian eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, Italy, in 79 A.D. In this case, the model was able to broadly reproduce the characteristic medium-range tephra deposit. The results support the validity of the model, which has the advantage of being simple and fast to compute. It has the potential to serve as a simple tool for predicting the distribution of ash fall of hypothetical or real eruptions of a given magnitude and a given wind profile. Using a statistical set of frequent wind profiles, it also was used to construct air fall hazard maps of the most likely affected areas around active volcanoes where a large eruption is expected to occur.
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