We seek to integrate volcanological and atmospheric science methods in order to initiate a complete system model of the near-field atmospheric processes. This integrates new modelling and insights into the dynamics of the volcanic plume and its gravitational equilibration in the stratified atmosphere, effects of meteorological conditions, physical and chemical behaviour of ash particles, gases and aerosols, physical and chemical in situ measurements, ground-based remote sensing and satellite remote sensing of the plume with very high resolution numerical computational modelling.