Multi-wavelength Raman lidar observations of the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic cloud over Potenza, Southern Italy
1Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche – Istituto di Metodologie per l'Analisi Ambientale (CNR-IMAA), C. da S. Loja, 85050 Tito Scalo, Potenza, Italy
Abstract. Multi-wavelength Raman lidar measurements were performed at CNR-IMAA Atmospheric Observatory (CIAO) during the entire Eyjafjallajökull explosive eruptive period in April–May 2010, whenever weather conditions permitted.
A methodology for volcanic layer identification and accurate aerosol typing has been developed on the basis both of the multi-wavelength Raman lidar measurements and EARLINET measurements performed at CIAO since 2000. The aerosol mask for lidar measurements performed at CIAO during the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption has been obtained. Volcanic aerosol layers have been observed in different periods: 19–22 April, 27–29 April, 8–9 May, 13–14 May and 18–19 May. A maximum aerosol optical depth of about 0.12–0.13 was observed on 20 April, 22:00 UTC and 13 May, 20:30 UTC. Volcanic particles have been detected both at low altitudes, in the free troposphere and in the upper troposphere. Intrusions into the PBL have been revealed on 21–22 April and 13 May. In the April–May period Saharan dust intrusions typically occur in Southern Italy. For the period under investigations, a Saharan dust intrusion was observed on 13–14 May: dust and volcanic particles have been simultaneously observed at CIAO both at separated different levels and mixed within the same layer.
Lidar ratios at 355 and 532 nm, Ångström exponent at 355/532 nm, backscatter related Ångström exponent at 532/1064 nm and particle linear depolarization ratio at 532 nm measured inside the detected volcanic layers have been discussed. The dependence of these quantities on relative humidity (RH) has been investigated by using co-located microwave profiler measurements. The particle linear depolarization ratio increasing with RH, lidar ratio values at 355 nm around 80 sr, and values of the ratio of lidar ratios greater than 1 suggest the presence of sulfates mixed with continental aerosol. Lower lidar ratio values (around 40 sr) increasing with RH and values of the ratio of lidar ratios lower than 1 indicate the presence of some aged ash inside these sulfate layers.