Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Using horizontal transport characteristics to infer an emission height of volcanic sulfur dioxide
by Hughes, Eric Joseph, M.S., University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 2009, 116; 1465376
Abstract (Summary)

Characterizing the emission height of sulfur dioxide (SO2) from volcanic eruptions yields information about the strength of volcanic activity, and is crucial for the assessment of possible climate impacts and for validation of satellite retrievals of SO2. Sensors such as the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on the polar-orbiting Aura satellite provides accurate maps of the spatial distribution of volcanic SO2, but provide limited information on its vertical distribution. The goal of the work presented here is to explore the possibility of using a trajectory model to reconstruct both the temporal activity and injection altitude of a volcanic source from OMI column measurements of SO2 observed far from the volcano. Statistical analyses based on the distance of closest approach to the volcano of back trajectories initialized at the measurements are compared to an optimal reconstruction based on forward trajectories. The inferred altitude of the SO2 cloud is compared to the altitude of derived sulfate aerosols detected in aerosol backscatter vertical profiles from the CALIOP instrument aboard CALIPSO. The trajectory modeling analyses also provide details about the horizontal transport that are not clearly apparent from satellite measurements alone; revealing an interesting transport mechanism occurring in the subtropical jet stream.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Sparling, Lynn C.
Commitee: Kreuger, Arlin J., Martins, Vanderlei J.
School: University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Department: Physics, Atmospheric
School Location: United States -- Maryland
Source: MAI 47/06M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Atmospheric sciences
Keywords: Backward trajectory, Emission height, Sulfur dioxide height, Trajectory modeling, Volcanic emissions, Volcanic sulfur dioxide
Publication Number: 1465376
ISBN: 978-1-109-18748-9
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