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Report on Atmospheric Effects (1980-1989) — May 1986

Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 11, no. 5 (May 1986)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Atmospheric Effects (1980-1989) Ruiz aerosols persist; balloon data since 1971

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1986. Report on Atmospheric Effects (1980-1989). In: McClelland, L. (ed.), Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 11:5. Smithsonian Institution.



Atmospheric Effects (1980-1989)

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Balloon soundings from Laramie, WY on 19 May showed maximum particle concentrations of about 2.8/cm, (radius > 0.15 µm) at about 20 km altitude. Figure 25 plots 1971-86 balloon data, showing perturbations associated with major eruptions.

Figure with caption Figure 25. Aerosol mixing ratios (particles/mg ambient air) versus time at the stratospheric maximum (18-22 km) for r > 0.25 µm and r > 0.15 µm during 200 balloon soundings at Laramie, WY and 5 in S Texas (circled crosses). The times of major volcanic eruptions believed to have perturbed the stratosphere at Laramie are indicated by arrows.

Lidar instruments in Virginia, Hawaii, Japan, and Germany continued to detect stratospheric aerosol layers thought to be from the 13 November 1985 eruption of Ruiz. At Mauna Loa, Hawaii, backscattering ratios of the sharp layer centered at 20.5-21 km diminished through May, while backscattering was enhanced at higher altitudes (figure 26). Higher altitude material had first been detected over Hampton, VA on 29 April, and peak backscattering ratios were at 20.5-21.5 km in early June, up from 19-20 km in early May. The lower layer appeared to be weakening and did not form a distinct peak. At Fukuoka, Japan, lidar continued to measure 2-3 layers in April and May, generally centered at altitudes of about 19 and 21-23 km, similar to March observations. From Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, peak May backscattering ratios were similar to those of April, but altitudes increased slightly.

Figure with caption Figure 26. Lidar data from various locations, showing altitudes of aerosol layers. Note that some layers have multiple peaks. Backscattering ratios from Fukuoka, Japan, are for the Nd-YAG wavelength of 1.06 µm; all others are for the ruby wavelength of 0.69 µm. Integrated values show total backscatter, expressed in steradians-1, integrated over 300-m intervals from 16-33 km at Mauna Loa and from the tropopause to 30 km at Hampton. Altitudes of maximum backscattering ratios and coefficients are shown for each layer at Mauna Loa. Mauna Loa backscattering values were truncated at 23 km on 8 May because of instrument problems. The 5 May data from Hampton replace previously published preliminary values.

Information Contacts: David Hofmann and James Rosen, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071 USA; Motowo Fujiwara, Physics Department, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 812, Japan; Thomas DeFoor, Mauna Loa Observatory, P.O Box 275, Hilo, HI 96720 USA; H. Jäger, Fraunhofer-Institut für Atmosphärische Umweltforschung, Kreuzeckbahnstrasse 19, D-8100 Garmisch-Partenkirchen, West Germany; William Fuller, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA 23665 USA.