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Authors: Barsotti, S.* 
Neri, A.* 
Scire, J.* 
Title: The VOL-CALPUFF model for atmospheric ash dispersal. I. Approach and physical formulation
Issue Date: 2007
Keywords: Weak plume
ash fallout
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.08. Volcanic risk 
Abstract: We present a new modeling tool, named VOL-CALPUFF able to simulate the transient and three-dimensional transport and deposition of volcanic ash under the action of realistic meteorological and volcanological conditions throughout eruption duration. The new model derives from the CALPUFF System, a software program widely-used in environmental applications of pollutant dispersion, that describes the dispersal process both in the proximal and distal regions and also in presence of complex orography. The main novel feature of the model is its capability of coupling a Eulerian description of plume rise with a Lagrangian representation of ash dispersal described as a series of diffusing packets of particles or puffs. The model is also able to describe the multiparticle nature of the mixture as well as the tilting effects of the plume due to wind action. The dispersal dynamics and ash deposition are described by using refined orography-corrected meteorological data with a spatial resolution up to 1 km or less and a temporal step of 1 hour. The modeling approach also keeps the execution time to a few minutes on common PCs, thus making VOL-CALPUFF a possible tool for the production of ash dispersal forecasts for hazard assessment. Besides the model formulation, the paper presents the type of outcomes produced by VOL-CALPUFF, shows the effect of main model parameters on results, and also anticipates the fundamental control of atmospheric conditions on the ash dispersal processes. In the companion paper (\cite{barsotti}, this issue) a first thorough application of VOL-CALPUFF to the simulation of a weak plume at Mount Etna (Italy) is presented with the specific aim of comparing model predictions with independent observations.
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