Methodology to obtain highly resolved SO2 vertical profiles for representation of volcanic emissions in climate models

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In this study we describe a methodology to create high-vertical-resolution SO2 profiles from volcanic emissions. We demonstrate the method's performance for the volcanic clouds following the eruption of Sarychev in June 2009. The resulting profiles are based on a combination of satellite SO2 and aerosol retrievals together with trajectory modelling. We use satellite-based measurements, namely lidar backscattering profiles from the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) satellite instrument, to create vertical profiles for SO2 swaths from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) aboard the Aqua satellite. Vertical profiles are created by transporting the air containing volcanic aerosol seen in CALIOP observations using the FLEXible PARTicle dispersion model (FLEXPART) while preserving the high vertical resolution using the potential temperatures from the MERRA-2 (Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Application) meteorological data for the original CALIOP swaths. For the Sarychev eruption, air tracers from 75 CALIOP swaths within 9g d after the eruption are transported forwards and backwards and then combined at a point in time when AIRS swaths cover the complete volcanic SO2 cloud. Our method creates vertical distributions for column density observations of SO2 for individual AIRS swaths, using height information from multiple CALIOP swaths. The resulting dataset gives insight into the height distribution in the different sub-clouds of SO2 within the stratosphere. We have compiled a gridded high-vertical-resolution SO2 inventory that can be used in Earth system models, with a vertical resolution of 1g K in potential temperature, 61g g 56g m, or 1.8g g 2.9g mbar.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7153-7165
Number of pages13
JournalAtmospheric Measurement Techniques
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Nov 16

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Subatomic Physics


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