8.5 Eyjafjallajökull Volcano Plume Particle-Type Characterization from Space-Based Multi-angle Imaging

Thursday, 10 January 2013: 2:30 PM
Room 5ABC (Austin Convention Center)
Ralph Kahn, NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD; and J. A. Limbacher

Using the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) Research Aerosol algorithm, we map aerosol optical depth (AOD) gradients and changing aerosol particle types for two optically thick, near-source plumes from the spring 2010 eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano. Several days downwind, we identify the occurrence of volcanic ash particles and retrieve AOD, demonstrating the extent and the limits of ash detection and mapping capability with the multi-angle, multi-spectral imaging data.

Retrieved volcanic plume AOD and particle microphysical properties are distinct from background values near-source, as well as for over-water cases several days downwind. The results also provide some indication that as they evolve, plume particles brighten, and average particle size decreases. Such detailed mapping offers context for suborbital plume observations having much more limited sampling. The MISR Standard aerosol product identified similar trends in plume properties as the Research algorithm, though with much smaller differences compared to background, and it does not resolve plume structure. Better optical analogs of non-spherical volcanic ash, and coincident suborbital data to validate the satellite retrieval results, are the factors most important for further advancing the remote sensing of volcanic ash plumes from space.

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner