SO2 and BrO observation in the plume of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano 2010: CARIBIC and GOME-2 retrievals

K-P Heue, C. A. M. Brenninkmeijer, A. K. Baker, A. Rauthe-Schoech, D. Walter, T. Wagner, C. Hormann, H. Sihler, B. Dix, U. Friess, U. Platt, Bengt Martinsson, P. F. J. van Velthoven, A. Zahn, R. Ebinghaus

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The ash cloud of the Eyjafjallajokull (also referred to as: Eyjafjalla (e.g. Schumann et al., 2011), Eyjafjoll or Eyjafjoll (e.g. Ansmann et al., 2010)) volcano on Iceland caused closure of large parts of European airspace in April and May 2010. For the validation and improvement of the European volcanic ash forecast models several research flights were performed. Also the CARIBIC (Civil Aircraft for the Regular Investigation of the atmosphere Based on an Instrument Container) flying laboratory, which routinely measures at cruise altitude (approximate to 11 km) performed three dedicated measurements flights through sections of the ash plume. Although the focus of these flights was on the detection and quantification of the volcanic ash, we report here on sulphur dioxide (SO2) and bromine monoxide (BrO) measurements with the CARIBIC DOAS (Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy) instrument during the second of these special flights on 16 May 2010. As the BrO and the SO2 observations coincide, we assume the BrO to have been formed inside the volcanic plume. Average SO2 and BrO mixing ratios of approximate to 40 ppb and approximate to 5 ppt respectively are retrieved inside the plume. The BrO to SO2 ratio retrieved from the CARIBIC observation is approximate to 1.3x10(-4). Both SO2 and BrO observations agree well with simultaneous satellite (GOME-2) observations. SO2 column densities retrieved from satellite observations are often used as an indicator for volcanic ash. As the CARIBIC O-4 column densities changed rapidly during the plume observation, we conclude that the aerosol and the SO2 plume are collocated. For SO2 some additional information on the local distribution can be derived from a comparison of forward and back scan GOME-2 data. More details on the local plume size and position are retrieved by combining CARIBIC and GOME-2 data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2973-2989
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Nuclear Physics (Faculty of Technology) (011013007)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Subatomic Physics


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