This blog provides commentary on interesting geological events occurring around the world in the context of my own work. This work is, broadly, geological fluid dynamics. The events that I highlight here are those that resonate with my professional life and ideas, and my goal is to interpret them in the context of ideas I've developed in my research. The blog does not represent any particular research agenda. It is written on a personal basis and does not seek to represent the University of Illinois, where I am a professor of geology and physics. Enjoy Geology in Motion! I would be glad to be alerted to geologic events of interest to post here! I hope that this blog can provide current event materials that will make geology come alive.

Banner image is by Ludie Cochrane..

Susan Kieffer can be contacted at s1kieffer at gmail.com

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Volcanic ash clouds and volcanologists trying to get to Australia!

Puyehue volcano erupting on June 6, 2011,
producing ash that has now (June 21) travelled around
the world one and a half times.
Photo by Francisco Negroni,
Agenci Uno/European Pressphoto Agency
My next few weeks of travel, as well as those of tens of thousands around the world trying to get to and from Australia are going to be interesting! I'm scheduled to go to the joint meeting of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) and the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior (IAVCEI). The reason? The on-going eruption of Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano in Chile.  The ash from this volcano has travelled across the southern Atlantic Oceans, under Africa and on to the Indian Ocean, impacting Australia and New Zealand along the way.  A lot of volcanologists, who normally love volcanic eruptions, are going to be tic'd off at this one! Especially our colleague, Ray Cas, who is the Chairman of the joint Australia and New Zealand Organising (yes, that's spelled correctly--it's Aussie) Committee!!

Good luck, Ray!

The ash would not have normally come near Australia, according to Andrew Tupper, head of the Volcanic Ash Advisory Center. However, the jet stream brought a low pressure system that grabbed some of the ash cloud.  Tupper is optimistic that it will clear out in a day or two.  Tupper says that "The low pressure system, although it is annoying, does have the beneficial effect that it's helping to break up the cloud itself, perhaps stopping it from coming around (over Australia) a third time." The ash has now gone around the world one and a half times.

Posting will be irregular this summer, check back and have a good summer as well (or, winter if you are "down under"!)

1 comment:

diaperdad said...

when volcano's erupt,how does the ash dissipate, where does the ash go. Does it affect our current weather. Or could it. Here in SW Ontario, Canada, have drought conditions brought on from humidity and lack of rain. It appears to be affecting MN, SD, Ontario, and Canadian/American bread basket. Could this be the affect of Ash in the atmosphere.
Roy Hanson
London, ontario, Canada