694 Monitoring the Hawaii Volcano Plume from Satellite

Wednesday, 9 January 2013
Exhibit Hall 3 (Austin Convention Center)
John N. Porter, Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI

The Hawaii Kilauea volcano is one of the largest point sources of pollution in America (2-10 tonnes SO2/day) and has been active over 20 years. With a half-life of approximately 6 hours, the sulfur dioxide is converted to sulfuric acid accumulation mode aerosols. The Volcanic Smog (VOG) is carried from the east side of Hawaii and tends to accumulate on the lee side of Hawaii affecting human and plant health, visibility, and cloud processes. Satellite aerosol retrievals offer the opportunity to monitor the location and concentration of the volcano plume. This information is important for now casting and model initialization air pollution concentrations. The launch of the GOES-R geostationary satellites (~2015) will make it possible to monitor the Hawaii volcano plume many times a day.

Deriving quantitative aerosol properties from satellite depend on various factors including, 1) correctly identifying aerosol type and assigning realistic aerosol models (aerosol phase functions and single scatter albedos), and 2) correctly modeling surface reflection. We will discuss our studies of satellite aerosol retrievals using MODIS data and several different inversion algorithms (NASA's, ours, and others). Satellite retrievals are compared with ground based sun photometer measurements in the volcano plume. Various issues will be discussed including complex wind fields around the Hawaiian Islands, aerosol inversion strategies, satellite validation concerns.

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