Lidar observation of the 2011 Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcanic aerosols at Lauder, New Zealand
On 4 June 2011, the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcanic complex (40.6° S, 72.1° W) in Chile erupted violently and injected volcanic aerosols into the atmosphere. For the safety of civil aviation, continuous lidar observations were made at Lauder, New Zealand (45.0° S, 169.7° E), from 11 June through 6 July 2011. The purpose of our study is to quantify the influence of the volcanic ejections from large eruptions, and we use the data from the ground-based lidar observation. We analyzed lidar data at a wavelength of 532 nm and derived the backscattering ratio and depolarization ratio profiles. During June and July, within the altitude range of 10–15 km, the volcanic aerosols had high depolarization ratios (20–35%), an indication of non-spherical volcanic ash particles. The time series of the backscattering ratio during continuous observations had three peaks occurring at about 12-day intervals: 26.7 at 11.2 km on 11 June, 18.1 at 12.0 km on 23 June, and 5.3 at 11.1 km on 6 July. The optical depth of the volcanic aerosols was 0.45 on 11 June, when the continuous lidar observation started, 0.31 on 23 June, and 0.12 on 6 July. The depolarization ratio values remained high up to a month after the eruption, and the small wavelength exponent calculated from the backscattering coefficients at 532 nm and 1064 nm suggests that a major constituent of the volcanic aerosols was large, non-spherical particles. The presence of volcanic ash in the stratosphere might affect the error in Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite (GOSAT) XCO 2 retrieval using the 1.6 μm band. We briefly discuss the influence of the increased aerosols on GOSAT products.