In situ physical and chemical characterisation of the Eyjafjallajökull aerosol plume in the free troposphere over Italy 1Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, National Research Council, Bologna, 40129, Italy
29 Jan 2014
2Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics, Florence section, Sesto Fiorentino, 50019, Italy
3University of Rome "La Sapienza", Chemistry Department, Rome, 00185, Italy
4C.N.R. Institute of Atmospheric Pollution, Monterotondo St., Rome, 00015, Italy
Received: 21 May 2013 – Published in Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.: 02 August 2013 Abstract. Continuous measurements of physical and chemical properties at the Mt.
Cimone (Italy) GAW-WMO (Global Atmosphere Watch, World Meteorological
Organization) Global Station (2165 m a.s.l.) have allowed the detection of the
volcanic aerosol plume resulting from the Eyjafjallajökull (Iceland) eruption of
spring 2010. The event affected the Mt. Cimone site after a transport over a distance
of more than 3000 km. Two main transport episodes were detected during the
eruption period, showing a volcanic fingerprint discernible against the free
tropospheric background conditions typical of the site, the first from April
19 to 21 and the second from 18 to 20 May 2010. This paper reports the
modification of aerosol characteristics observed during the two episodes,
both characterised by an abrupt increase in fine and, especially, coarse
mode particle number.
Revised: 29 November 2013 – Accepted: 17 December 2013 – Published: 29 January 2014
Analysis of major, minor and trace elements by different analytical
techniques (ionic chromatography, particle induced X-ray emission–particle
induced gamma-ray emission (PIXE–PIGE) and inductively
coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS)) were performed on
aerosols collected by ground-level discrete sampling. The resulting database
allows the characterisation of aerosol chemical composition during the
volcanic plume transport and in background conditions. During the passage of
the volcanic plume, the fine fraction was dominated by sulphates, denoting
the secondary origin of this mode, mainly resulting from in-plume oxidation
of volcanic SO2. By contrast, the coarse fraction was characterised by
increased concentration of numerous elements of crustal origin, such as Fe,
Ti, Mn, Ca, Na, and Mg, which enter the composition of silicate minerals.
Data analysis of selected elements (Ti, Al, Fe, Mn) allowed the estimation
of the volcanic plume's contribution to total PM10, resulting in a local
enhancement of up to 9.5 μg m−3, i.e. 40% of total PM10 on
18 May, which was the most intense of the two episodes. These results appear
significant, especially in light of the huge distance of Mt. Cimone from
the source, confirming the widespread diffusion of the Eyjafjallajökull
ashes over Europe.
Citation: Sandrini, S., Giulianelli, L., Decesari, S., Fuzzi, S., Cristofanelli, P., Marinoni, A., Bonasoni, P., Chiari, M., Calzolai, G., Canepari, S., Perrino, C., and Facchini, M. C.: In situ physical and chemical characterisation of the Eyjafjallajökull aerosol plume in the free troposphere over Italy, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 14, 1075-1092, doi:10.5194/acp-14-1075-2014, 2014.