Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-874
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-874

  09 Nov 2021

09 Nov 2021

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

Improved estimation of volcanic SO2 injections from satellite observations and Lagrangian transport simulations: the 2019 Raikoke eruption

Zhongyin Cai1,2, Sabine Griessbach2, and Lars Hoffmann2 Zhongyin Cai et al.
  • 1Institute of International Rivers and Eco-security, Yunnan University, Kunming, China
  • 2Jülich Supercomputing Centre, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Jülich, Germany

Abstract. Monitoring and modeling of volcanic plumes is important for understanding the impact of volcanic activity on climate and for practical concerns, such as aviation safety or public health. Here, we applied the Lagrangian transport model Massive-Parallel Trajectory Calculations (MPTRAC) to estimate the SO2 injections into the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere by the eruption of the Raikoke volcano (48.29° N, 153.25° E) in June 2019 and its subsequent long-range transport and dispersion. First, we used SO2 observations from the AIRS (Atmospheric Infrared Sounder) and TROPOMI (TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument) satellite instruments together with a backward trajectory approach to estimate the altitude-resolved SO2 injection time series. Second, we applied a scaling factor to the initial estimate of the SO2 mass and added an exponential decay to simulate the time evolution of the total SO2 mass. By comparing the estimated SO2 mass and the observed mass from TROPOMI, we show that the volcano injected 2.1 ± 0.2 Tg SO2 and the e-folding lifetime of the SO2 was about 13 to 17 days. The reconstructed injection time series are consistent between the AIRS nighttime and the TROPOMI daytime measurements. Further, we compared forward transport simulations that were initialized by AIRS and TROPOMI satellite observations with a constant SO2 injection rate. The results show that the modeled SO2 change, driven by chemical reactions, captures the SO2 mass variations observed by TROPOMI. In addition, the forward simulations reproduce the SO2 distributions in the first ~10 days after the eruption. However, diffusion in the forward simulations is too strong to capture the internal structure of the SO2 clouds, which is further quantified in the simulation of the compact SO2 cloud from late July to early August. Our study demonstrates the potential of using combined nadir satellite observations and Lagrangian transport simulations to further improve SO2 time- and height-resolved injection estimates of volcanic eruptions.

Zhongyin Cai et al.

Status: open (until 21 Dec 2021)

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

Zhongyin Cai et al.

Zhongyin Cai et al.

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Short summary
Using AIRS and TROPOMI sulfur dioxide measurements and the Lagrangian transport model MPTRAC, we present an improved reconstruction of injection parameters of the 2019 Raikoke eruption. Reconstructions agree well between using AIRS nighttime and TROPOMI daytime observations, showing the potential of our approach to create a long-term volcanic sulfur dioxide inventory from nearly 20 years of AIRS observations.
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