MISR Contributes to Iceland Volcano Ash Plume Safety Analysis

March Highlights

March 1, 2011Click on image to enlarge.

Iceland’s Eyjafjalljökull volcano erupted repeatedly between 14 April and 23 May 2010, sending ash plumes across the skies of Europe, disrupting air traffic, and stranding travelers for up to several weeks. During the early eruptions, much of European airspace was shut down, but by early May, selective closures allowed many more flights to proceed, vastly reducing the impact on society.

Geosynchronous instruments such as the European SEVIRI made the primary satellite contributions to the improved near-real-time response. But detailed MISR plume heights and data from other polar-orbiting satellites are playing key roles in improving ash plume modeling and prediction internationally, aimed at planning for future volcanic events. More on this Image