MicroStep-MIS
Success Story - Volcanic Ash Trajectories and their Environmental Impacts, Study for the Al Ays Region
Between April and June 2009 more than 30,000 earthquakes occurred beneath the Harrat Lunayyir lava fields of Saudi Arabia. The magnitude 5.4 earthquake on May 19th, 2010 damaged buildings in the town of Al Ays and prompted the Saudi Arabian government to order evacuations and 40,000 people left their homes. All these events forced the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment to prepare the ash dispersion and impact study for Al Ays region. MicroStep-MIS as a company with vast experience in seismology, meteorology and modeling has been chosen to conduct the study.

The project “Study of Volcanic Ash Trajectories and its Environmental Impact” was aimed to provide ash dispersion and impact study for Al Ays region in different seasons of year. The study was structured into seven parts:
  • Ash and Gas Source Characteristics – Volcanological Expertise,
  • Climatology of the Studied Region,
  • Detailed Weather Modeling of the Studied Region,
  • Volcanic Ash Transport,
  • Selected Gases Dispersion,
  • Summary and Recommendations.

Challenge

  • Phenomena that can adversely affect inhabitants, ecosystems, agriculture, traffic
  • Interdisciplinary problem - volcanology / meteorogy and climatology / chemicals dispersion
  • Assess areas potentially endangered by volcanic ash even before the volcano erupts

Our solution

  • Volcanological research
  • High performance computing
  • Climatic downscaling
  • Coupling of meteorological and dispersion models with special focus to ash particles

Achievements

  • Genuine research results
  • Comprehensive study accepted by regional environmental authority