Determining the vertical distribution of volcanic plumes and SO2 column amounts from 20042013

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Sunday, 2 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Jonathan Martinez, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and S. Massie and R. R. Neely III

The statistics of volcanic eruptions and injections of sulfur dioxide (SO2) into the atmosphere during 20042013 are determined using information gathered from the Smithsonian's Global Volcanism Program and the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI), respectively. Volcanic eruptions are observed during this period, which is known as a quiescent period of no significant volcanic activity. A total of 6113 eruptions were analyzed during this period and we determined 93 instances of the volcanic plumes entering the stratosphere. The heights of the volcanic plumes are correlated to the corresponding SO2 column amounts. We noted an increase in SO2 column amount with increasing plume height in the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes while SO2 amounts were more constant with increasing plume heights in the tropics. The amount of SO2 injected into the atmosphere by the eruptions is calculated by using a 2˚ 2˚ grid surrounding the center of each volcano. The grid represented the bulk of the SO2 that could possibly be carried into the stratosphere and have an impact on the stratospheric aerosol optical depth (AOD). We observed a total of 1.8Tg of SO2 injected into the atmosphere during this period. We noted a correlation between increased SO2 from tropical volcanic eruptions and increased stratospheric AOD integrated from 15km to 40km. The research presented allows for further distinctions of the volcanic contributions of SO2 in our atmosphere from anthropogenic sources of SO2 such as those originating from thermal power plants.