GNSS Radio Occultation Advances the Monitoring of Volcanic Clouds: The Case of the 2008 Kasatochi Eruption
Earth and related Environmental sciences
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The products of explosive volcanic eruptions, in particular, volcanic ash, can pose a severe hazard to, for example, international aviation. Detecting volcanic clouds and monitoring their dispersal is hence, the subject of intensive current research. However, the discrepancies between the different available methods lead to detected cloud altitude with significant uncertainties. Here we show the results of an algorithm developed explicitly for high vertical resolution detection of volcanic cloud altitude by using the Global Navigation Satellite System radio occultation (RO) observations. Analyzing the energetic Kasatochi eruption of August 2008 in a case study, we find the volcanic cloud altitudes detected with RO in good agreement (within ~1 km) with cloud altitude estimations from Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) lidar backscatter images in the 4 h range between RO and CALIOP acquisitions. The tracking by combined RO and imaging of the volcanic cloud evolution during the weeks after the eruption indicates a promising potential for operational global cloud altitude monitoring.
CitationCigala, V.; Biondi, R.; Prata, A.J.; Steiner, A.K.; Kirchengast, G.; Brenot, H. (2019). GNSS Radio Occultation Advances the Monitoring of Volcanic Clouds: The Case of the 2008 Kasatochi Eruption. , Remote Sensing, Vol. 11, Issue 19, A2199, DOI: 10.3390/rs11192199.