EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Calculating the Height and the Position of Volcanic Cloud SO2 With a Lagrangian Trajectory Tool 

Nick Gorkavyi1, Nickolay Krotkov2, Can Li3, Leslie Lait1, Simon Carn4, Peter Colarco2, Nikita Fedkin3, Matthew DeLand1, Mark Schoeberl5, Alexander Vasilkov1, and Joanna Joiner2
Nick Gorkavyi et al.
  • 1United States of America (
  • 2NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA
  • 3University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA
  • 4Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI, USA
  • 5Science and Technology Corporation, Columbia, MD, USA

We have developed a new trajectory tool to reconstruct the altitude and the position of SO2 in a volcanic plume. Starting with 2D map of satellite observed SO2, known volcano location, and reanalysis wind fields from the NASA Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS) model, the Goddard trajectory tool allows us to estimate the altitude and concentration of SO2 in the volcanic plume at time of observation. We used this tool for the June 21, 2019 Mt. Raikoke eruption and the June 15, 1991 Mt. Pinatubo event. We used SO2 data from the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite/Nadir Mapper (OMPS/NM) onboard the NASA-NOAA Suomi satellite and obtained a distribution of SO2 altitudes between 1 and 19 kilometers in different parts of the Raikoke SO2 clouds, with the highest SO2 concentration between 11 and 16 km, in good agreement with data from independent SO2 layer height retrievals from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) aboard the NASA Aura spacecraft; the Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) onboard the European Copernicus Sentinel 5 precursor satellite and Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) on the European Space Agency's (ESA) MetOp series of a polar orbiting satellites. We then applied this method to the Pinatubo eruption using SO2 column measurements from the NASA Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) and using wind fields from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction Reanalysis version 2. We found that the southern part of the Pinatubo plume is located in the troposphere, and the northern part is in the stratosphere.

How to cite: Gorkavyi, N., Krotkov, N., Li, C., Lait, L., Carn, S., Colarco, P., Fedkin, N., DeLand, M., Schoeberl, M., Vasilkov, A., and Joiner, J.: Calculating the Height and the Position of Volcanic Cloud SO2 With a Lagrangian Trajectory Tool , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-7916,, 2021.

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