CCARPH-MO Scientists Release Report on Impact of Taal Volcano Eruption on Air Quality (Part 1)

Satellite image of the Taal Volcano eruption last January 12, 2020

At around 1:00 PM last January 12, 2020, the second most active volcano in the Philippines, Taal, has erupted.

A phreatic eruption has occurred releasing ash up to 14 kilometers in the air affecting most of the CALABARZON Region, Metro Manila, and parts of Central Luzon. The eruption forced Local Government Units around the affected regions to suspend classes and work to ensure the safety of their residents.

Spearheaded by Dr. Gemma Narisma (Manila Observatory Executive Director, and CCARPH Work Theme Leader), the report is a multi-lab effort of MO scientists including CCARPH Work Theme Sub-leaders, Dr. Obiminda Cambaliza, Dr. James Simpas, and Dr. Faye Cruz. Laboratories include Air Quality Dynamics, Regional Climate Systems, and Solid Earth Dynamics Laboratories as well as the Geophysics Lab of the Department of Physics.

The summary of the report read as follows:

Summary (as of 13 January 2020):

  1. Emissions from Taal Volcano rapidly spread northward, hitting major population centers within an hour of the initial eruption.
  2. High-altitude winds were largely responsible for transporting volcanic emissions northward. HSRL measurements from Manila Observatory show that most of the pollution was transported above 12 km. 
  3. Comparison of integrated aerosol optical depth over the Manila Observatory before, during, and after the ashfall shows current conditions are back to typical range. 
  4. Satellite retrievals show reduced emissions and plume dispersion across Luzon early morning, 13 January 2020.

This summary was lifted from Manila Observatory’s Facebook post. You may view the full report by clicking this link.

Image shared by Dr. Cambaliza. To view full image, click here.

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