For Scientists

Work as closely as possible with local Civil Defense, emergency managers and health professionals. Help them to provide information frequently and directly to the public about volcanic ash, including instructions for participating in cleanup operations.

Below are links to various sampling and analytical protocols for analysis of volcanic ash:

Ash Collection and Mapping Protocols


Ash Collection Protocols

The following protocols were developed by the Alaska Volcano Observatory for both scientists and the public but can be used in almost any setting or circumstance.

  • Instructions for collecting volcanic ash samples
  • Ash Collection Datasheet

  • Ash Samplers - a review of what is out there:

    Following is a summary of physical ash samplers that can be deployed in the field during eruptions:

  • Bernard, Benjamin (2013). Homemade ashmeter: a low-cost, high-efficiency solution to improve tephra field-data collection for contemporary explosive eruptions. Journal of Applied Volcanology, 2.1: 1-9. Click here to download PDF.

  • Shimano, T., Nishimura, T., Chiga, N., Shibasaki, Y., Iguchi, M., Miki, D., & Yokoo, A. (2013). Development of an automatic volcanic ash sampling apparatus for active volcanoes. Bulletin of Volcanology, 75(12), 1-7. Click here to download PDF.

  • Distal Ash Collection in the UK - YouTube Tutorial

  • Stevenson, J.A., Loughlin, S., Rae, C., Thordarson, T., Milodowski, A.E., Gilbert, J.S., Harangi, S., Lukács, R., Højgaard, B., Árting, U. and Pyne-O'Donnell, S. (2012). Distal deposition of tephra from the Eyjafjallajökull 2010 summit eruption. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 117(B9).

  • Isomass/isopach mapping

    This guideline is to be added

    Analysis of Ash Leachate

    This report was the outcome of a two-day workshop held at the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience, Durham University, UK, in 2011, attended by the authors (experts in leachate methodologies). A 2005 review of ash-leachate studies (Witham et al., 2005), which made preliminary recommendations on standard methods for characterising ash leachates, was used as the starting point for discussions at this workshop.

    The purpose of this protocol is to recommend clear, standard and reliable methods for the rapid assessment of hazards from leachable elements, each applicable to specific purposes.

    Click below to download protocols:
  • Protocol for analysis of volcanic ash samples for assessment of hazards from leachable elements (for health and agriculture)
  • Analysis of Bulk Ash Samples for Respiratory Health Hazard Assessment

  • Protocol for analysis of bulk ash samples for (respiratory) health hazard assessment
  • Analysis of Particle-Size Distribution Analysis

  • English Particle-size distribution analysis guideline
  • Spanish particle-size distribution analysis guideline
  • Volcanic Gas Guidelines

    The International Volcanic Health Hazard Network (IVHHN) has developed information relating to health hazards of gases and aerosols emitted during volcanic activity that can be found by clicking here (available in English, Spanish, and Japanese).

    The entire guideline can be downloaded here as a PDF or you can explore the following topic areas:
  • Sulphur Dioxide (SO2)
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Hydrogen Sulphide
  • Hydrogen Chloride
  • Hydrogen Fluoride
  • Particulate Matter (PM) and Aerosols
  • Information on the Ash Impacts Working Group and How to Get Involved

    The Volcanic Ashfall Impacts Working Group is focused on understanding and mitigating the impacts of volcanic ashfall and is formally hosted by the Cities and Volcanoes (CAV) Commission of IAVCEI. We are an international consortium of multi-disciplinary geoscientists including physical volcanologists, health experts, ashfall modelers, communications, social scientists, disaster response specialists, and risk analysts. We have membership from several other working groups and commissions which helps to create transparency between groups and show collaboration on common missions. Other working groups and commissions include:
  • IAVCEI Commission on Tephra Hazard Modeling, led by Arnau Folch , Barcelona Supercomputing Centre
  • International Volcanic Health Hazard Network (IVHHN), led by Claire Horwell, Durham University

  • To contact us,please click here.
    Please join the email list-serve by clicking here.