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Volume 15, issue 20
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 11501–11512, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-15-11501-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 11501–11512, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-15-11501-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 19 Oct 2015

Research article | 19 Oct 2015

A perturbed parameter model ensemble to investigate Mt. Pinatubo's 1991 initial sulfur mass emission

J.-X. Sheng1,a, D. K. Weisenstein2, B.-P. Luo1, E. Rozanov1,3, F. Arfeuille4,b, and T. Peter1 J.-X. Sheng et al.
  • 1Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2School of Engineering and Applied Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
  • 3Physikalisch-Meteorologisches Observatorium Davos and World Radiation Center, Davos, Switzerland
  • 4Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research and Institute of Geography, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  • anow at: School of Engineering and Applied Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
  • bnow at: Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research, Dübendorf, Switzerland

Abstract. We have performed more than 300 atmospheric simulations of the 1991 Pinatubo eruption using the AER 2-D sulfate aerosol model to optimize the initial sulfur mass injection as a function of altitude, which in previous modeling studies has often been chosen in an ad hoc manner (e.g., by applying a rectangular-shaped emission profile). Our simulations are generated by varying a four-parameter vertical mass distribution, which is determined by a total injection mass and a skew-normal distribution function. Our results suggest that (a) the initial mass loading of the Pinatubo eruption is approximately 14 Mt of SO2; (b) the injection vertical distribution is strongly skewed towards the lower stratosphere, leading to a peak mass sulfur injection at 18–21 km; (c) the injection magnitude and height affect early southward transport of the volcanic clouds as observed by SAGE II.

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We have conducted a perturbed parameter model ensemble to investigate Mt. Pinatubo's 1991 initial sulfur mass emission. Our results suggest that (a) the initial mass loading of the Pinatubo eruption is ~14 Mt of SO2; (b) the injection vertical distribution is strongly skewed towards the lower stratosphere, leading to a peak mass sulfur injection at 18-21 km; (c) the injection magnitude and height affect early southward transport of the volcanic cloud observed by SAGE II.
We have conducted a perturbed parameter model ensemble to investigate Mt. Pinatubo's 1991...
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