About Careers MedBlog Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Ash Spewed From Icelandic Volcano was Electrically Charged

by VR Sreeraman on May 28, 2010 at 2:42 PM
Font : A-A+

 Ash Spewed From Icelandic Volcano was Electrically Charged

The cloud of ash blowing south from an Icelandic volcano last month was electrically charged, claim researchers.

The finding could be exploited to build detectors to warn pilots when they are flying into danger.

Advertisement

Giles Harrison of the meteorology department at the University of Reading in the UK said that the disruption to European air traffic last month caused by the ash could have been reduced if pilots had an instrument that could detect ash clouds.

On 19 April, when Eyjafjallajokull's cloud hung over Europe, the researchers released a weather balloon carrying instruments to measure particle size and concentration, and the electrical charge in the atmosphere, from a site on the west coast of Scotland.
Advertisement

As the balloon entered the 800-metre-thick ash-laden layer of the atmosphere, they noted a rapid increase in particle concentration and a positive electrical charge that they say could not be attributed to local weather conditions or other sources.

"We think that particle collisions must be creating the charge," New Scientist quoted Harrison as saying.

The charge increased with particle concentration, reaching a maximum of around 0.5 picocoulombs per cubic metre in areas where there were 50 particles per cubic centimetre of air.

That is around 1/20th of the concentration beyond which the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has said aircraft are not allowed to fly.

"Combined with other measurements, a simple charge detector on an aircraft should be able to alert pilots to dangerous levels of ash," said Harrison.

However, it is not yet known if such a system would be of practical use in busy airspace.

"UK airspace is very congested, so any detection system has to be able to warn of the ash far in advance, to give time to manoeuvre safely," said a spokesperson for the CAA.

The study has been published in the Journal Environmental Research Letters.

Source: ANI
SRM
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
Test Your Knowledge on Sugar Intake and Oral Health
Test  Your Knowledge on Heart
Test Your Knowlege on Genes
View all
News Archive
Date
Category
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Most Popular on Medindia

How to Reduce School Bag Weight - Simple Tips Selfie Addiction Calculator Indian Medical Journals Vent Forte (Theophylline) Blood Pressure Calculator Noscaphene (Noscapine) Diaphragmatic Hernia Sinopril (2mg) (Lacidipine) Iron Intake Calculator Blood - Sugar Chart
This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
open close
ASK A DOCTOR ONLINE

×

Ash Spewed From Icelandic Volcano was Electrically Charged Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests