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Airborne observations of the Eyjafjalla volcano ash cloud over Europe during air space closure in April and May 2010

Schumann, Ulrich and Weinzierl, Bernadett and Reitebuch, Oliver and Schlager, Hans and Minikin, Andreas and Forster, Caroline and Baumann, Robert and Sailer, Thomas and Graf, Kaspar and Mannstein, Hermann and Voigt, Christiane and Rahm, Stephan and Simmet, Rudolf and Rüba, Hans and Scheibe, Monika and Schäuble, Dominik and Lichtenstern, Michael and Stock, Paul and Tafferner, Arnold and Rautenhaus, Marc and Gerz, Thomas and Ziereis, Helmut and Krautstrunk, Monika and Mallaun, Christian and Gayet, Jean-Francois and Lieke, Katrin and Kandler, Konrad and Ebert, Martin and Weinbruch, Stephan and Stohl, Andreas and Gasteiger, Josef and Groß, Silke and Freudenthaler, Volkert and Wiegner, Matthias and Ansmann, Albert and Tesche, Matthias and Olaffson, Haraldur and Sturm, Klaus (2011) Airborne observations of the Eyjafjalla volcano ash cloud over Europe during air space closure in April and May 2010. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 11, pp. 2245-2279. DOI: 10.5194/acp-11-2245-2011. ISSN 1680-7316.

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Official URL: http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/11/2245/2011/


Airborne lidar and in-situ measurements of aerosols and trace gases were performed in volcanic ash plumes over Europe between Southern Germany and Iceland with the Falcon aircraft during the eruption period of the Eyjafjalla volcano between 19 April and 18 May 2010. Flight planning and measurement analyses were supported by a refined Meteosat ash product and trajectory model analysis. The volcanic ash plume was observed with lidar directly over the volcano and up to a distance of 2700 km downwind, and up to 120 h plume ages. Aged ash layers were between a few 100 m to 3 km deep, occurred between 1 and 7 km altitude, and were typically 100 to 300 km wide. Particles collected by impactors had diameters up to 20 m diameter, with size and age dependent composition. Ash mass concentrations were derived from optical particle spectrometers for a particle density of 2.6 g cm-3 and various values of the refractive index (RI, real part: 1.59; 3 values for the imaginary part: 0, 0.004 and 0.008). The mass concentrations, effective diameters and related optical properties were compared with ground-based lidar observations. Theoretical considerations of particle sedimentation constrain the particle diameters to those obtained for the lower RI values. The ash mass concentration results have an uncertainty of a factor of two. The maximum ash mass concentration encountered during the 17 flights with 34 ash plume penetrations was below 1 mg m-3. The Falcon flew in ash clouds up to about 0.8 mg m-3 for a few minutes and in an ash cloud with approximately 0.2 mg m-3 mean-concentration for about one hour without engine damage. The ash plumes were rather dry and correlated with considerable CO and SO2 increases and O3 decreases. To first order, ash concentration and SO2 mixing ratio in the plumes decreased by a factor of two within less than a day. In fresh plumes, the SO2 and CO concentration increases were correlated with the ash mass concentration. The ash plumes were often visible slantwise as faint dark layers, even for concentrations below 0.1 mg m-3. The large abundance of volatile Aitken mode particles suggests previous nucleation of sulfuric acid droplets. The effective diameters range between 0.2 and 3 µm with considerable surface and volume contributions from the Aitken and coarse mode aerosol, respectively. The distal ash mass flux on 2 May was of the order of 500 (240-1600) kg s-1. The volcano induced about 10 (2.5-50) Tg of distal ash mass and about 3 (0.6-23) Tg of SO2 during the whole eruption period. The results of the Falcon flights were used to support the responsible agencies in their decisions concerning air traffic in the presence of volcanic ash.

Document Type:Article
Title:Airborne observations of the Eyjafjalla volcano ash cloud over Europe during air space closure in April and May 2010
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Schumann, UlrichDLR, IPA
Weinzierl, BernadettDLR, IPA
Reitebuch, OliverDLR, IPA
Schlager, HansDLR, IPA
Minikin, AndreasDLR, IPA
Forster, CarolineDLR, IPA
Baumann, RobertDLR, IPA
Sailer, ThomasDLR, IPA
Graf, KasparDLR, IPA
Mannstein, HermannDLR, IPA
Voigt, ChristianeDLR, IPA
Rahm, StephanDLR, IPA
Simmet, RudolfDLR, IPA
Rüba, HansDLR, IPA
Scheibe, MonikaDLR, IPA
Schäuble, DominikDLR, IPA
Lichtenstern, MichaelDLR, IPA
Stock, PaulDLR, IPA
Tafferner, ArnoldDLR, IPA
Rautenhaus, MarcDLR, IPA
Gerz, ThomasDLR, IPA
Ziereis, HelmutDLR, IPA
Krautstrunk, MonikaDLR, FX
Mallaun, ChristianDLR, FX
Gayet, Jean-FrancoisLMD
Lieke, KatrinTU Darmstadt
Kandler, KonradTU Darmstadt
Ebert, MartinTU Darmstadt
Weinbruch, StephanTU Darmstadt
Stohl, AndreasNILU
Gasteiger, JosefLMU MIM
Groß, SilkeLMU MIM
Freudenthaler, VolkertLMU MIM
Wiegner, MatthiasLMU MIM
Ansmann, AlbertIfT Leipzig
Tesche, MatthiasIfT Leipzig
Olaffson, HaraldurUni Iceland
Sturm, KlausDWD Offenbach
Journal or Publication Title:Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Refereed publication:Yes
In Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 2245-2279
Keywords:Volcano, Iceland, Eyjafjallajökull, Eyjafjöll, Eyjafjalla, Falcon, Ash, Aviation, air, in-situ, Lidar, impactor, air composition
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Aeronautics
HGF - Program Themes:L VU - Air Traffic and Environment (old)
DLR - Research area:Aeronautics
DLR - Program:L VU - Air Traffic and Environment
DLR - Research theme (Project):L - Low-Emission Air Traffic (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Atmospheric Trace Species
Deposited By: Prof.Dr.habil. Ulrich Schumann
Deposited On:14 Mar 2011 12:02
Last Modified:13 Nov 2014 16:35

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