Validation of ozone monitoring instrument SO < inf> 2 measurements in the Okmok volcanic cloud over Pullman, WA, July 2008

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The ozone monitoring instrument (OMI), launched on the EOS/Aura satellite in July 2004, makes daily global observations of natural and anthropogenic SO2 emissions with unprecedented spatial resolution. Here we present the first robust comparison of OMI volcanic SO2 retrievals with ground-based instrumentation, using direct Sun observations of the Okmok volcanic cloud from Washington State University (WSU) in Pullman, WA on 18-20 July 2008. These measurements were made by the multifunction differential optical absorption spectroscopy (MFDOAS) instrument developed at WSU, as the Okmok cloud drifted over Pullman in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS). Observation conditions were favorable with cloud-free skies and a relatively homogeneous volcanic cloud distribution on OMI ground pixel scales (∼20-50 km). Movement of the Okmok cloud north and south of Pullman over a period of several days permitted comparison with three OMI overpasses with SO2 column amounts above the SO2 background level. The total SO2 columns measured by MFDOAS during OMI overpasses were 3.11 ± 0.23 Dobson units (DU), 1.75 ± 0.16 DU and 1.22 ± 0.18 DU (1 DU = 2.69 × 1016 molecules/cm2 = 0.029 g/m 2). Comparison of ground-based direct Sun and operational and off-line OMI retrievals show an excellent agreement, providing the first validation of OMI measurements of volcanic SO2 in the UTLS. © 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.

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Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres