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Atmospheric Trajectory Models

Canadian Emergency Response Model (CANERM)

Model Description

The Canadian Emergency Response Model (CANERM) is a 3-dimensional numerical transport and dispersion model that calculates advection and diffusion, but also simulates wet and dry depositional processes. CANERM was initially designed to model the transport of radioactive contaminants in the atmosphere. However, it has been adapted for volcanic ash and is now used as an emergency forecast tool for predicting the movement of volcanic ash clouds that may threaten Canadian air space.

CANERM is a fully operational model at the Montreal Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) which operates as part of the Canadian Meteorological Center (CMC). Daily forecasts are produced for active or potentially active volcanoes and are ready to be administered to proper aviation weather forecasting authorities if needed. The model can also be executed by the on-duty meteorologist at the CMC on a 24-hour basis. A simulation can be produced for any volcano in the world.

Model Input

Meteorological data used by CANERM is provided by the global data assimilation system in two modes: diagnostic and forecast. The last seven days of meteorological fields are available for diagnostic simulations. In forecast mode, meteorological data are forecasted to 72 hours (twice-daily) and 240 hours (once-daily).

The CANERM model also requires the input of the following: latitude and longitude of the volcano, time and date of the eruption, duration of the eruption, ash release time function (constant, exponential, or gaussian), the amount of ash erupted, and the plume height. Since detailed information about eruption characteristics is often not available, accepted default values for ash volume, eruption duration, and release function are used to initially run the model until information is updated.

Model Output

The CANERM model produces ash forecast charts as seen below, generally within one hour of initiating the model. The charts consist of 6 panels displaying two forecast modes for three Canadian air traffic control zones. A complete description of the volcanic ash forecast charts can be found here. Basically, ash concentrations are displayed for three different flight levels. Forecast can be peformed for up to 72 hours.

Automatic forecast simulations are run daily (real-time) for volcanoes exhibiting immediate potential for eruption and consequent ash cloud production. CANERM is also a tool for studying past eruptions, especially as more accurate data becomes available for model input. CANERM results can be compared to satellite observations and other ash transport models for validation purposes. Below are some examples of past eruption simulations.

Klyuchevskoi, Kamchatka

Rabaul, New Guinea

Another option of the CANERM model is trajectory output. Forecast trajectories are produced daily (real-time) for selected volcanoes. Below is an example for Colima, Mexico.

Can I run this model myself?

Currently, this model is not available to the public. All CANERM products (ash forecasts, trajectories, and past eruptions) can be linked to off of the Montreal VAAC web page.


All information on this page was summarized from the Montreal VAAC web page and its links.

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