Profiling the SO2 Plume from Volcan Turrialba: Ticosonde Balloon Measurements Compared with OMI and OMPS Retrievals

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Henry B Selkirk1, Nickolay Anatoly Krotkov2, Can Li2, Gary Morris3, Jorge Andres Diaz4, Simon A Carn5, Holger Voemel6, Paul Michael Nord7 and Kelsey Larson7, (1)Goddard Earth Sciences Technology and Research, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (2)NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (3)St. Edward's University, Austin, TX, United States, (4)Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica, (5)Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI, United States, (6)Deutscher Wetterdienst, Lindenberg, Germany, (7)Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN, United States
The summit of Volcan Turrialba (elev. 3340 m) lies less than 50 km upstream in the prevailing easterlies from the Ticosonde balloon launch site at San Jose, Costa Rica, where ECC ozone sondes have been launched regularly since 2005. In 2006 we began to see telltale notches in the ozone profiles in the altitude range between 2 and 6 km. Given the proximity of Turrialba, it seemed likely that SO2 in the volcano's plume was interfering in the chemical reaction in the ECC ozone sonde used to detect ozone. In early 2010, fumarolic activity in the Turrialba crater increased strongly, and the profile notches in our soundings increased in frequency as well, consistent with this hypothesis. In February 2012 we tested a dual ECC sonde system, where an additional sonde is flown on the same payload using a selective SO2 filter. The difference of the measurements in the dual sonde is a direct measure of the amount of SO2 encountered. This first dual sonde passed through the plume, and the data indicated a tropospheric SO2 column of 1.4 DU, comparing favorably with a total column of 1.7 DU in the OMI 3-km linear fit (LF) product at the sonde profile location and at nearly the same time. We are now launching dual sondes on a regular basis with 18 launches in the first 12 months through July 2014; 11 of these have detectable SO2 signals. These soundings have great potential for validation of the Aura OMI and the Suomi-NPP OMPS retrievals of SO2. Here we present the sonde measurements and compare them with two satellite datasets: the Aura OMI Linear Fit (LF) product and the Suomi-NPP OMPS Principal Components Analysis (PCA) boundary layer product. The PCA algorithm reduces retrieval noise and artifacts by more accurately accounting for various interferences in SO2 retrievals such as O3 absorption and rotational Raman scattering. The comparisons with the in situ observations indicate a significant improvement of the PCA algorithm in capturing relatively weak volcanic SO2 signals.