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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1153
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1153
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 22 Nov 2018

Research article | 22 Nov 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Lidar observations of pyrocumulonimbus smoke plumes in the UTLS over Tomsk (Western Siberia, Russia) from 2000 to 2017

Vladimir V. Zuev1, Vladislav V. Gerasimov1,2, Aleksei V. Nevzorov3, and Ekaterina S. Savelieva1 Vladimir V. Zuev et al.
  • 1Institute of Monitoring of Climatic and Ecological Systems SB RAS, Tomsk , 634055, Russia
  • 2Tomsk State University, Tomsk, 634050, Russia
  • 3V. E. Zuev Institute of Atmospheric Optics SB RAS, Tomsk, 634055, Russia

Abstract. Large volcanic eruptions with the volcanic explosivity index (VEI)3 are widely known to be the strongest source of long-lived aerosol in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS). However, the latest studies have revealed that massive forest (bush) fires represent another strong source of short-term (but intense) aerosol perturbations in the UTLS if combustion products from the fires reach these altitudes via convective ascent within pyrocumulonimbus clouds (pyroCbs). PyroCbs, generated by boreal wildfires in North America and North-East Asia and injecting smoke plumes into the UTLS, have been intensively studied using both ground- and space-based instruments since the beginning of the 21 century. In this paper, we focus on aerosol layers observed in the UTLS over Tomsk (56.48°N, 85.05°E, Western Siberia, Russia) that could be smoke plumes from such pyroCb events occurred in the 2000–2017 period. Using the HYSPLIT trajectory analysis, we have reliably assigned ten aerosol layers to nine out of more than 100 documented pyroCb events, the aftereffects of which could potentially be detected in the UTLS over Tomsk. All of the nine pyroCb events occurred in the USA and Canada: one event per year was in 2000, 2002, 2003, 2015, and 2016, whereas two events per year were in 2013 and 2017. No plumes from pyroCbs originating in the boreal zone of Siberia and the Far East (to the east of Tomsk) were observed in the UTLS over Tomsk between 2000 and 2017. We conclude that the lifetimes of pyroCb plumes to be detected in the UTLS using ground-based lidars are less than about a month, i.e. plumes from pyroCbs generated by wildfires to the east of Tomsk can significantly diffuse before reaching the Tomsk lidar station by the westerly zonal transport of air masses. A comparative analysis of the contributions from pyroCb events and volcanic eruptions with VEI3 to aerosol loading of the UTLS over Tomsk has also been made. Finally, an aerosol plume from the Aleutian volcano Bogoslof erupted with VEI=3 on 28 May 2017 was detected at altitudes between 10.8 and 13.5km over Tomsk on 16 June 2017.

Vladimir V. Zuev et al.
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Vladimir V. Zuev et al.
Vladimir V. Zuev et al.
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Short summary
Massive wildfires sometimes generate pyrocumulonimbus clouds (pyroCbs), inside of which combustion products can ascend to the upper troposphere or even lower stratosphere (UTLS). Smoke plumes from pyroCbs occurred in North America can spread in the UTLS for long distances and be observed in the UTLS over Europe and even over Russia. In this work, we analyzed aerosol layers detected in the UTLS over Tomsk (Russia) that could be smoke plumes from such pyroCbs occurred in the 2000–2017 period.
Massive wildfires sometimes generate pyrocumulonimbus clouds (pyroCbs), inside of which...
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