Measuring the refractive index of volcanic ash – new paper in Journal of Geophysical Research

COMET scientists’ Tamsin Mather, David Pyle and Roy Grainger have a new paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research on the detection and quantification of volcanic ash.


This is extremely important to the aviation industry, civil defence organisations and those in peril from volcanic ash fall, using remote sensing techniques to monitor volcanic clouds and return information on their properties.

The paper presents the complex refractive index of volcanic ash at 450.0 nm, 546.7 nm and 650.0 nm from eruptions of Aso (Japan), Grímsvötn (Iceland), Chaitén (Chile), Etna (Italy), Eyjafjallajökull (Iceland), Tongariro (New Zealand), Askja (Iceland), Nisyros (Greece), Okmok (Alaska), Augustine (Alaska) and Spurr (Alaska).

You can find the full paper, Measurements of the complex refractive index of volcanic ash at 450, 546.7 and 650 nm in the Journal of Geophysical Research, doi: 10.1002/2015JD023521.