Articles | Volume 12, issue 4
Research article
29 Feb 2012
Research article |  | 29 Feb 2012

Multi-wavelength Raman lidar observations of the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic cloud over Potenza, southern Italy

L. Mona, A. Amodeo, G. D'Amico, A. Giunta, F. Madonna, and G. Pappalardo

Abstract. During the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in April–May 2010 multi-wavelength Raman lidar measurements were performed at the CNR-IMAA Atmospheric Observatory (CIAO), whenever weather conditions permitted observations. A methodology both for volcanic layer identification and accurate aerosol typing has been developed. This methodology relies on the multi-wavelength Raman lidar measurements and the support of long-term lidar measurements performed at CIAO since 2000. The aerosol mask for lidar measurements performed at CIAO during the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption has been obtained. Volcanic aerosol layers were observed in different periods: 19–22 April, 27–29 April, 8–9 May, 13–14 May and 18–19 May. A maximum aerosol optical depth of about 0.12–0.13 was observed on 20 April, 22:00 UTC and 13 May, 20:30 UTC. Volcanic particles were detected at low altitudes, in the free troposphere and in the upper troposphere. Occurrences of volcanic particles within the PBL were detected on 21–22 April and 13 May. A Saharan dust event was observed on 13–14 May: dust and volcanic particles were simultaneously detected at CIAO at separated different altitudes as well as mixed within the same layer.

Lidar ratios at 355 and 532 nm, the Ångström exponent at 355/532 nm, the backscatter-related Ångström exponent at 532/1064 nm and the particle linear depolarization ratio at 532 nm measured inside the detected volcanic layers are discussed. The dependence of these quantities on relative humidity has been investigated by using co-located microwave profiler measurements. The measured values of these intensive parameters indicate the presence of volcanic sulfates/continental mixed aerosol in the volcanic aerosol layers observed at CIAO. In correspondence of the maxima observed in the volcanic aerosol load on 19–20 April and 13 May, different values of intensive parameters were observed. Apart from the occurrence of sulfate aerosol, these values indicate also the presence of some ash which is affected by the aging during transport over Europe.

Final-revised paper