Tracking aerosols and SO2 clouds from the Raikoke eruption: 3D view from satellite observations

Document Type


Publication Date



The 21 June 2019 eruption of the Raikoke volcano (Kuril Islands, Russia; 48g g€¯N, 153g g€¯E) produced significant amounts of volcanic aerosols (sulfate and ash) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas that penetrated into the lower stratosphere. The dispersed SO2 and sulfate aerosols in the stratosphere were still detectable by multiple satellite sensors for many months after the eruption. For this study of SO2 and aerosol clouds we use data obtained from two of the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite sensors on the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite: total column SO2 from the Nadir Mapper and aerosol extinction profiles from the Limb Profiler as well as other satellite data sets. We evaluated the limb viewing geometry effect (the "arch effect") in the retrieval of the LP standard aerosol extinction product at 674g€¯nm. It was shown that the amount of SO2 decreases with a characteristic period of 8-18g€¯d and the peak of stratospheric aerosol optical depth recorded at a wavelength of 674g€¯nm lags the initial peak of SO2 mass by 1.5 months. Using satellite observations and a trajectory model, we examined the dynamics of an unusual atmospheric feature that was observed, a stratospheric coherent circular cloud of SO2 and aerosol from 18 July to 22 September 2019.

Publication Title

Atmospheric Measurement Techniques