Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 12, 30203-30257, 2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed
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Four-dimensional distribution of the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull volcanic cloud over Europe observed by EARLINET
G. Pappalardo1, L. Mona1, G. D'Amico1, U. Wandinger2, M. Adam3, A. Amodeo1, A. Ansmann2, A. Apituley4, L. Alados Arboledas5, D. Balis6, A. Boselli1, J. A. Bravo-Aranda5, A. Chaikovsky7, A. Comeron8, J. Cuesta9, F. De Tomasi10, V. Freudenthaler11, M. Gausa12, E. Giannakaki6,13, H. Giehl14, A. Giunta1, I. Grigorov15, S. Groß11,16, M. Haeffelin17, A. Hiebsch2, M. Iarlori18, D. Lange8, H. Linné19, F. Madonna1, I. Mattis2,20, R.-E. Mamouri21, M. A. P. McAuliffe22, V. Mitev23, F. Molero24, F. Navas-Guzman5, D. Nicolae25, A. Papayannis21, M. R. Perrone10, C. Pietras17, A. Pietruczuk26, G. Pisani27, J. Preißler28, M. Pujadas24, V. Rizi18, A. A. Ruth22, J. Schmidt2, F. Schnell11, P. Seifert2, I. Serikov19, M. Sicard8, V. Simeonov29, N. Spinelli27, K. Stebel30, M. Tesche2,31, T. Trickl14, X. Wang27, F. Wagner28, M. Wiegner11, and K. M. Wilson4
1Istituto di Metodologie per l'Analisi Ambientale CNR-IMAA, C.da S. Loja, Tito Scalo, Potenza, 85050, Italy
2Leibniz-Institut für Troposphärenforschung, Leipzig, Germany
3EC Joint Research Centre, Ispra (VA), Italy
4KNMI – Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, The Bilt, The Netherlands
5Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain
6Aristoteleio Panepistimio, Thessalonikis, Greece
7Institute of Physics, National Academy of Sciences, Minsk, Bjelarus
8Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
9LATMOS, UMR CNRS 8190, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France and LISA, CNRS, UMR7583, Université Paris-Est Créteil and Université Paris-Diderot, Créteil, France
10Università del Salento, Department of Mathematics and Physics, Lecce, Italy
11Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München, Germany
12Andøya Rocket Range, Norway
13Finnish Meteorological Institute, Kuopio Unit, Finland
14Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
15Institute of Electronics, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria
16Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Institut f. Physik d. Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
17Université Pierre et Maris Curie-Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, Paris, France
18CETEMPS, Dipartimento di Scienze Fisiche e Chimiche, Università Degli Studi dell'Aquila, Italy
19Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie, Hamburg, Germany
20Deutscher Wetterdienst, Meteorologisches Observatorium Hohenpeißenberg, Albin-Schwaiger-Weg 10, 82383 Hohenpeißenberg, Germany
21National Technical University of Athens, Department of Physics, Athens, Greece
22Physics Department & Environmental Research Institute, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
23CSEM, Centre Suisse d'Electronique et de Microtechnique SA, Neuchâtel, Switzerland
24Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas, Madrid, Spain
25National Institute of R&D for Optoelectronics, Magurele-Bucharest, Romania
26Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland
27Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario per le Scienze Fisiche della Materia, Napoli, Italy
28Universidade de Évora, Centro de Geofísica de Évora, Évora, Portugal
29Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
30Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU), Kjeller, Norway
31Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM), Stockholm University, Svante Arrhenius väg 8, 11418 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract. The eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull in April/May 2010 represents a "natural experiment" to study the impact of volcanic emissions on a continental scale. For the first time, quantitative data about the presence, altitude, and layering of the volcanic cloud, in conjunction with optical information, are available for most parts of Europe derived from the observations by the European Aerosol Research Lidar NETwork (EARLINET). Based on multi-wavelength Raman lidar systems EARLINET is the only instrument worldwide that is able to provide dense time series of high-quality optical data to be used for aerosol typing and for the retrieval of particle microphysical properties as a function of altitude.

In this work we show the four-dimensional (4-D) distribution of the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic cloud over Europe as observed by EARLINET during the entire volcanic event (15 April–26 May 2010). All optical properties directly measured (backscatter, extinction, and particle linear depolarization ratio) are stored in the EARLINET database available at A specific relational database providing the volcanic mask over Europe, realized ad hoc for this specific event, has been developed and is available on request at

During the first days after the eruption, volcanic particles were detected over Central Europe within a wide range of altitudes, from the lower stratosphere down to the local Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL). After 19 April 2010, volcanic particles were detected over South and South Eastern Europe. During the first half of May (5–15 May), material emitted by the Eyjafjallajökull volcano was detected over Spain and Portugal and then over the Mediterranean and the Balkans. Last observations of the event were recorded until 25 May in Central Europe and in the Eastern Mediterranean area.

For the first time, volcanic aerosol layering and optical properties are presented and discussed for the entire volcanic event on a continental scale providing an unprecedented data set for evaluating satellite data and aerosol dispersion models for these kind of volcanic events.

Citation: Pappalardo, G., Mona, L., D'Amico, G., Wandinger, U., Adam, M., Amodeo, A., Ansmann, A., Apituley, A., Alados Arboledas, L., Balis, D., Boselli, A., Bravo-Aranda, J. A., Chaikovsky, A., Comeron, A., Cuesta, J., De Tomasi, F., Freudenthaler, V., Gausa, M., Giannakaki, E., Giehl, H., Giunta, A., Grigorov, I., Groß, S., Haeffelin, M., Hiebsch, A., Iarlori, M., Lange, D., Linné, H., Madonna, F., Mattis, I., Mamouri, R.-E., McAuliffe, M. A. P., Mitev, V., Molero, F., Navas-Guzman, F., Nicolae, D., Papayannis, A., Perrone, M. R., Pietras, C., Pietruczuk, A., Pisani, G., Preißler, J., Pujadas, M., Rizi, V., Ruth, A. A., Schmidt, J., Schnell, F., Seifert, P., Serikov, I., Sicard, M., Simeonov, V., Spinelli, N., Stebel, K., Tesche, M., Trickl, T., Wang, X., Wagner, F., Wiegner, M., and Wilson, K. M.: Four-dimensional distribution of the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull volcanic cloud over Europe observed by EARLINET, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 12, 30203-30257, doi:10.5194/acpd-12-30203-2012, 2012.
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