For Scientists

This is a quickstart guide for how to use this website for scientists, particularly those in volcano observatories, universities and other agencies.

Typical roles of scientists

In addition to studying the eruption and volcano
  • Support and follow the advice of your local Civil Defense or Emergency Management officials.
  • Provide local civil defense, emergency managers, health agencies, infrastructure managers and the public with timely information about volcanic ash including health precautions and specific instructions such as for participating in cleanup operations.
  • If you are living, working or conducting field work in a potentially ash affected environment, consider which of the 'For Public' and 'For Agencies' and "For Scientists' resources are relevant to you on the Resources tab at the top of this website - that includes a range of health and agency focused fact sheets and protocols and brochures in conjunction with the International Volcanic Health Hazard Network (IVHHN).
  • Direct the public and agencies, especially emergency managers and infrastructure managers, to this website, to the Resources page in particular, and where relevant, to download and follow the Global Ash Impact Poster(s) that apply to their sector.
  • Work with agencies to develop local and event-specific guidance applying these resources in your local context. Contact our working group if you need help or advice. Consider the "Example Local Fact Sheets and Guidelines" given on the Resources tab.
  • Work with local agencies to develop and apply ash sampling and testing. Links to various volcanic ash sampling and analytical protocols are listed in the Resources section.

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.

    Key Actions for Everyone in an Ashfall

    If ashfall is forecast:
    • Go home, if possible, to avoid travelling in ashy conditions.
    • If you or any members of your family have respiratory or heart conditions, keep your reliever and preventer medications handy and use as prescribed. If you have any concerns, call your doctor.
    • Move pets indoors.
    • Move vehicles and machinery under cover or cover them with a tarpaulin. Disconnect downpipes from roof catchment rainwater tanks to keep ash out.
    While ash is falling:
    • Stay indoors.
    • Keep ash out of the house by keeping doors and windows shut. Shut down heat pumps and air conditioning units that draw outdoor air into the house.
    • If outside, seek shelter (e.g. in a car or building).
    • If exposed to ashfall, use a mask or cloth over the nose and mouth to help avoid inhaling ash. If possible, wear glasses instead of contact lenses as ash trapped behind lenses can damage your eyes.
    • Do not overload phone networks with non-emergency calls.
    • Seek information from official channels and follow any instructions from authorities.
    After ash has stopped falling:
    • If there is ash in your water, let it settle and then use the clear water. Water contaminated by ash will usually make drinking water unpalatable before it presents a health risk.
    • You may eat vegetables from the garden, but wash them first.