Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-155
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-155

  23 Mar 2021

23 Mar 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Geometric estimation of volcanic eruption column height from GOES-R near-limb imagery – Part 1: Methodology

Ákos Horváth1, James L. Carr2, Olga A. Girina3, Dong L. Wu4, Alexey A. Bril5, Alexey A. Mazurov5, Dmitry V. Melnikov2, Gholam Ali Hoshyaripour6, and Stefan A. Buehler1 Ákos Horváth et al.
  • 1Meteorological Institute, Universität Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
  • 2Carr Astronautics, Greenbelt, MD, USA
  • 3Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Far East Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IVS FEB RAS), Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russia
  • 4NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA
  • 5Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SRI RAS), Moscow, Russia
  • 6Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe, Germany

Abstract. A geometric technique is introduced to estimate the height of volcanic eruption columns using the generally discarded near-limb portion of geostationary imagery. Such oblique observations facilitate a height-by-angle estimation method by offering close to orthogonal side views of eruption columns protruding from the Earth ellipsoid. Coverage is restricted to daytime point estimates in the immediate vicinity of the vent, which nevertheless can provide complementary constraints on source conditions for the modelling of near-field plume evolution. The technique is best suited to strong eruption columns with minimal tilting in the radial direction. For weak eruptions with severely bent plumes or eruptions with expanded umbrella clouds the radial tilt/expansion has to be corrected for either visually or using ancillary wind profiles. Validation on a large set of mountain peaks indicates a typical height uncertainty of ±500 m for near-vertical eruption columns, which compares favourably with the accuracy of the common temperature method.

Ákos Horváth et al.

Status: open (until 21 May 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Ákos Horváth et al.

Ákos Horváth et al.

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Short summary
We give a detailed description of a new technique to estimate the height of volcanic eruption columns from near-limb geostationary imagery. Such oblique angle observations offer spectacular side views of eruption columns protruding from the Earth ellipsoid and thereby facilitate a height-by-angle estimation method. Due to its purely geometric nature, the new technique is unaffected by the limitations of traditional brightness temperature-based height retrievals.
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