Journal cover Journal topic
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 4429-4450, 2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
29 Apr 2013
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. Cuesta9,10, F. De Tomasi11, V. Freudenthaler12, M. Gausa13, E. Giannakaki6,14, H. Giehl15, A. Giunta1, I. Grigorov16, S. Groß12,17, M. Haeffelin18, A. Hiebsch2, M. Iarlori19, D. Lange8, H. Linné20, F. Madonna1, I. Mattis2,21, R.-E. Mamouri22, M. A. P. McAuliffe23, V. Mitev24, F. Molero25, F. Navas-Guzman5, D. Nicolae26, A. Papayannis22, M. R. Perrone11, C. Pietras18, A. Pietruczuk27, G. Pisani28, J. Preißler29, M. Pujadas25, V. Rizi19, A. A. Ruth23, J. Schmidt2, F. Schnell12, P. Seifert2, I. Serikov20, M. Sicard8, V. Simeonov30, N. Spinelli28, K. Stebel31, M. Tesche2,32, T. Trickl15, X. Wang28, F. Wagner29, M. Wiegner12, 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, CNRS UMR8190, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France
10LISA, CNRS UMR7583, Université Paris-Est Créteil and Université Paris-Diderot, Créteil, France
11Università del Salento, Department of Mathematics and Physics, Lecce, Italy
12Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany
13Andøya Rocket Range, Andenes, Norway
14Finnish Meteorological Institute, Kuopio Unit, Finland
15Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
16Institute of Electronics, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria
17Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Institut f. Physik d. Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
18Université Pierre et Maris Curie-Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, Paris, France
19CETEMPS, Dipartimento di Scienze Fisiche e Chimiche, Università Degli Studi dell'Aquila, Italy
20Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie, Hamburg, Germany
21Deutscher Wetterdienst, Meteorologisches Observatorium Hohenpeißenberg, Hohenpeißenberg, Germany
22National Technical University of Athens, Department of Physics, Athens, Greece
23Physics Department & Environmental Research Institute, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
24CSEM, Centre Suisse d'Electronique et de Microtechnique SA, Neuchâtel, Switzerland
25Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas, Madrid, Spain
26National Institute of R&D for Optoelectronics, Magurele-Bucharest, Romania
27Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland
28Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario per le Scienze Fisiche della Materia, Naples, Italy
29Universidade de Évora, Centro de Geofísica de Évora, Évora, Portugal
30Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
31Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU), Kjeller, Norway
32Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM), Stockholm University, 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 in the troposphere 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 upper troposphere down to the local planetary boundary layer (PBL). After 19 April 2010, volcanic particles were detected over southern 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. The last observations of the event were recorded until 25 May in Central Europe and in the Eastern Mediterranean area.

The 4-D distribution of volcanic aerosol layering and optical properties on European scale reported here provides an unprecedented data set for evaluating satellite data and aerosol dispersion models for this 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., 13, 4429-4450, doi:10.5194/acp-13-4429-2013, 2013.
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