Volcanic ash can travel further than previously thought

Aggregation of volcanic ash has always been thought to promote premature sedimentation. According to new findings of the Physical Volcanology and Geological Risk Group, specific aggregate packing structures can actually enhance the ash residence time in the atmosphere. This phenomenon, named rafting, was thought to be impossible based on previous theoretical studies. This new work constrains the theoretical conditions under which rafting can happen, explaining recent field evidence of rafted ash during explosive volcanic eruptions.



March 3, 2021