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Volume XI |

Atmospheric Pollution by Iceland Volcano Lava Dispersion – the Brussels Case

Abstract: In April 2010 the Icelandic Eyjafjallajökull stratovolcano emitted large clouds of volcanic ashes that provoked chaotic situations for the air traffic of the Northern hemisphere. The impact of the resulting atmospheric pollution may have widespread effects on the health of the populations living in the affected regions. For this reason, the study of the airborne particles brought by the ash clouds must cover not only their concentrations expressed in μg/m3, but also their size, shape and chemical composition. Our results revealed that during the eruption days, some periods with a higher concentration of the coarse particles (between 2.5 and 10 µm) were observed. The sphericity (R1) and roughness (R2) parameters showed specific characteristics of the particles, suggesting long distance of their origin. Furthermore, an increase up to 4 times more in the At% of the elements K, Al, Ca, Na and Si, which characterize the felsic lava, was observed during the eruption period.