Crises environnementales : la modélisation au service de la gestion

Abstract : The eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull in April 2010 in Iceland released a considerable amount of fine ash into the European atmosphere leading to an unprecedented disruption of air traffic. While that disruption was making the headlines, INERIS - in its role of technical support to the French Ministry of Environment - was solicited to provide a detailed assessment of potential impacts on air quality. A core of scientists of the institute representing expertises as diverse as chemistry-transport modelling forecasts, remote sensing, in-situ monitoring, assistance to policy makers and environmental crisis communication was put together within hours. Such a reactivity and expertise in the field of environmental forecasting and monitoring could only be achieved thanks to the implication of INERIS in various research and operational initiatives such as the design and operation of the PREV’AIR forecasting system, the Global Monitoring for Environmental Security Programme of the European Commission, as well as the aerosol chemical characterization program (CARA) of the national reference laboratory for air quality monitoring (LCSQA). The CHIMERE model issued its first forecasts a few hours after the eruption started. These forecasts were soon validated against remote sensing observations of the plume and showed a potential impact at the surface in Northern France. In-situ sampling and dedicated analysis of airborne trace metals confirmed that up to half of the 60-70 μg/m3 of coarse particulate matter could be attributed to the Eyjafjallajökull ash plume locally.
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Olivier Favez, Augustin Colette. Crises environnementales : la modélisation au service de la gestion. Rapport Scientifique INERIS, 2011, 2010-2011, pp.60-62. ⟨ineris-01869390⟩

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