Public Release: 

EARTH: Sand shouldn't stand in for volcanic ash in jet engine tests

American Geosciences Institute

Alexandria, VA - In 2010, trans-Atlantic airspace was shutdown, and international travel halted, when Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull erupted, spewing ash into the air. This was an expensive decision, triggered by the threat ash posed to aircraft, crews and passengers. When ash enters an aircraft turbine, which typically can reach temperatures of up to 2,000 degrees Celsius, the ash can melt, damaging the engines in midflight.

For decades, sand has been used to simulate the effects volcanic ash may have on aircraft, but in a new study covered by EARTH Magazine, scientists used samples of real volcanic ash from volcanoes of different eruptive styles from around the world. The experiments demonstrated big differences between the compositions and melting points of sand versus ash. To find out what this means for geoscience and the airline industry, read the August issue of EARTH Magazine:

EARTH Magazine brings you the science behind the headlines. In its 60th year, EARTH Magazine is still the premier magazine for all geoscience news. This month's issue includes stories on how geoscience is being used to track down Hannibal's route over the Alps, new research into how vibrations give landslides water-like properties, and a primer on the most influential images in the field of geology. Additionally, Travels in Geology takes you all over the world to experience the science for yourself, either on vacation or from your favorite reading chair. Read all this, and more in EARTH Magazine.


Keep up to date with the latest happenings in Earth, energy and environment news with EARTH Magazine online at: Published by the American Geosciences Institute, EARTH is your source for the science behind the headlines.

The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment.

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