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Proceedings Paper

Detection of the temporal and spatial structure of a volcanic plume by ground-based remote sensing
Author(s): Klaus Schäfer; Stefan Emeis; Christoph Münkel; Peter Suppan
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Paper Abstract

Available CL31 ceilometer measurements (backscatter profiles at 910 nm) have been applied to detect the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic plume after the eruption on April 14th, 2011. Ceilometer backscatter intensities in Augsburg showed a layer of strongly enhanced backscatter above the planetary boundary layer (PBL) only on April 17th until 13:00. From 02:00 until 13:00, the volcanic plume subsided and was finally mixed into the PBL where its clear signature finally disappeared. From 17:00 until mid-night, a structured layer in the upper part of the PBL became visible and is interpreted as a remnant of the formerly confined plume layer above a stable lower atmosphere. The ceilometer observations further indicate that there was a defined upper boundary of the PBL and the lower atmosphere was well mixed on April 17th from 13:00 until 17:00 up to about 1500 m a.g.l., i.e. the vertical extension of the PBL was relatively large. Entrainment of volcanic material into the PBL must be assumed in this phase, but a corresponding signal on the near-surface air composition at Augsburg was not detectable due to strong dilution and high background concentrations. On April 19th, the situation became different: Due to convection, the distinct separation of the PBL and the free troposphere above disappeared. During the following night, a stable near-surface layer and a residual second layer were formed. Such meteorological conditions favoured the enrichment of air pollutants near surface level, as seen during the night from April 19th to April 20th.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 October 2011
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8177, Remote Sensing of Clouds and the Atmosphere XVI, 81770I (26 October 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.898197
Show Author Affiliations
Klaus Schäfer, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (Germany)
Stefan Emeis, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (Germany)
Christoph Münkel, Vaisala GmbH (Germany)
Peter Suppan, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8177:
Remote Sensing of Clouds and the Atmosphere XVI
Evgueni I. Kassianov; Adolfo Comeron; Richard H. Picard; Klaus Schäfer, Editor(s)

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