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A complex study of Etna's volcanic plume from ground‐based, in situ and space‐borne observations

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Two periods of transboundary transport of volcanic aerosols and debris following recent eruptions of Mount Etna, Italy, were examined using ground‐based and satellite spectrophotometric measurements together with Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) and aerosol filter observations in Athens and Thessaloniki, Greece. Independent columnar SO 2 measurements from ground and space identified peaks at Greek sites after the volcanic eruptions. LiDAR measurements of the aerosol extinction at Thessaloniki and Athens performed in July 2001 have shown the height of the volcanic plume to be about 3.5 km asl and the optical thickness of the dust layer to be of the order of 3×10 −3 at 532 nm. Strong ozone depletion observed at the volcano plume level by using ozonesonde ascents may be attributed to the in‐plume processes that generate reactive halogens, which in turn destroy ozone. The chemical and elemental composition of aerosol samples, taken at the Earth's surface, was analysed and confirmed the volcanic origin of the dust.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Geology and Geoenvironment, University of Athens, Greece 2: Faculty of Physics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece 3: Faculty of Physics, National Technical University of Athens, Greece 4: Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD), Climate and Environment Department, Offenbach, Germany 5: Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Maryland, USA

Publication date: 2006-05-10

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