Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2022-517
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2022-517
 
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04 Jul 2022
04 Jul 2022

The evolution and dynamics of the Hunga Tonga plume in the stratosphere

Bernard Legras1, Clair Duchamp1, Pasquale Sellitto2,3, Aurélien Podglajen1, Elisa Carboni4, Richard Siddans4, Jens-Uwe Grooß5, Sergey Khaykin6, and Felix Ploeger5 Bernard Legras et al.
  • 1Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD-IPSL), UMR CNRS 8539, ENS-PSL, École Polytechnique, Sorbonne Université, Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, Paris, France
  • 2Univ. Paris Est Créteil and Université de Paris Cité, CNRS, Laboratoire Interuniversitaire des Systèmes Atmosphériques (LISA-IPSL), Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace, Créteil, France
  • 3Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV), Osservatorio Etneo (OE), Catania, Italy
  • 4UK Research and Innovation, Science and Technology Facilities Council, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Chilton, UK
  • 5Institute for Energy and Climate Research: Stratosphere (IEK–7), Forschungszentrum Jülich, Jülich, Germany
  • 6Laboratoire Atmosphères, Milieux, Observations Spatiales (LATMOS-IPSL), UMR CNRS 8190, Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, Sorbonne Univ./UVSQ, Guyancourt, France

Abstract. We use a combination of space-borne instruments (CALIOP, OMPS-LP, IASI, MLS, ALADIN, GEOs) to study the unprecedented stratospheric plume after the Hunga Tonga eruption of 15 January 2022. The plume was formed of two initial clouds at 30 and 28 km mostly composed of sub-micronic sulphate particles without ashes, washed-out within the first hours. The large amount of water vapour injected led to a fast conversion of SO2 to sulphates and the fast descent of the plume over the first three weeks. While SO2 returned to background levels by the end of January, the sulphate plume persisted until June, mainly confined between 20° N and 35° S due to the zonal symmetry of the summer stratospheric circulation at 24–25 km. As they grew through hydration and coagulation, the sedimenting sulphate particles separated from the ascending moisture entrained in the Brewer-Dobson circulation. IASI-derived sulphate aerosol optical depths show that the aerosol plume was not simply diluted and dispersed passively but rather organized in concentrated patches. ALADIN-AEOLUS winds suggest that those structures, generated by shear-induced instabilities, are associated with vorticity anomalies. They likely enhance the duration and impacts of the plume.

Journal article(s) based on this preprint

23 Nov 2022
| Highlight paper
The evolution and dynamics of the Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha'apai sulfate aerosol plume in the stratosphere
Bernard Legras, Clair Duchamp, Pasquale Sellitto, Aurélien Podglajen, Elisa Carboni, Richard Siddans, Jens-Uwe Grooß, Sergey Khaykin, and Felix Ploeger
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 22, 14957–14970, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-22-14957-2022,https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-22-14957-2022, 2022
Short summary

Bernard Legras et al.

Interactive discussion

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-517', Anonymous Referee #1, 12 Aug 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-517 - reviewer 1', Anonymous Referee #1, 12 Aug 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Bernard Legras, 05 Sep 2022
  • RC3: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-517', Anonymous Referee #2, 14 Aug 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC3', Bernard Legras, 05 Sep 2022

Interactive discussion

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-517', Anonymous Referee #1, 12 Aug 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-517 - reviewer 1', Anonymous Referee #1, 12 Aug 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Bernard Legras, 05 Sep 2022
  • RC3: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-517', Anonymous Referee #2, 14 Aug 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC3', Bernard Legras, 05 Sep 2022

Peer review completion

AR: Author's response | RR: Referee report | ED: Editor decision
AR by Bernard Legras on behalf of the Authors (05 Sep 2022)  Author's response    Author's tracked changes    Manuscript
ED: Reconsider after major revisions (07 Sep 2022) by Farahnaz Khosrawi
AR by Bernard Legras on behalf of the Authors (12 Sep 2022)  Author's response
ED: Referee Nomination & Report Request started (29 Sep 2022) by Farahnaz Khosrawi
RR by Anonymous Referee #1 (11 Oct 2022)
RR by Anonymous Referee #2 (15 Oct 2022)
ED: Publish subject to technical corrections (17 Oct 2022) by Farahnaz Khosrawi
ED: Publish as is (17 Oct 2022) by Peter Haynes(Executive Editor)
AR by Bernard Legras on behalf of the Authors (23 Oct 2022)  Author's response    Manuscript

Journal article(s) based on this preprint

23 Nov 2022
| Highlight paper
The evolution and dynamics of the Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha'apai sulfate aerosol plume in the stratosphere
Bernard Legras, Clair Duchamp, Pasquale Sellitto, Aurélien Podglajen, Elisa Carboni, Richard Siddans, Jens-Uwe Grooß, Sergey Khaykin, and Felix Ploeger
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 22, 14957–14970, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-22-14957-2022,https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-22-14957-2022, 2022
Short summary

Bernard Legras et al.

Bernard Legras et al.

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The requested preprint has a corresponding peer-reviewed final revised paper. You are encouraged to refer to the final revised version.

This Letter describes the effect of the recent (January 2022) Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcanic eruption on the stratosphere. The eruption was highly energetic and as a result erupted material reached altitudes of around 30km. Such eruptions, with the 1991 Pinatubo eruption being a noteworthy example, often have a significant effect on tropospheric weather and climate, through the radiative effects of the volcanic aerosol, which may remain in the stratosphere for 2 or 3 years or more. In the 30 years since the Pinatubo eruption observations of the stratosphere, primarily from satellites, have improved enormously and in this Letter the authors provide a detailed description of the evolution of volcanic aerosol and of other chemical species injected by the eruption over a 6-month period following the eruption. The authors show that one important effect of the eruption was to inject a large quantity of water vapour into the stratosphere and suggest that the largest impact of the eruption on tropospheric weather and climate will be via the radiative effect of this water vapour, rather than of the injected aerosol. The initial detailed picture of the impact of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai eruption on the stratosphere provided in this Letter will stimulate further study of this remarkable natural event, which provides a rare opportunity to test our scientific understanding.
This Letter describes the effect of the recent (January 2022) Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcanic eruption on the stratosphere. The eruption was highly energetic and as a result erupted material reached altitudes of around 30km. Such eruptions, with the 1991 Pinatubo eruption being a noteworthy example, often have a significant effect on tropospheric weather and climate, through the radiative effects of the volcanic aerosol, which may remain in the stratosphere for 2 or 3 years or more. In the 30 years since the Pinatubo eruption observations of the stratosphere, primarily from satellites, have improved enormously and in this Letter the authors provide a detailed description of the evolution of volcanic aerosol and of other chemical species injected by the eruption over a 6-month period following the eruption. The authors show that one important effect of the eruption was to inject a large quantity of water vapour into the stratosphere and suggest that the largest impact of the eruption on tropospheric weather and climate will be via the radiative effect of this water vapour, rather than of the injected aerosol. The initial detailed picture of the impact of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai eruption on the stratosphere provided in this Letter will stimulate further study of this remarkable natural event, which provides a rare opportunity to test our scientific understanding.
Short summary
The long duration atmospheric impact of the Hunga Tonga eruption is a plume of water and sulphate aerosols in the stratosphere that persisted already during five months. We study this evolution using a battery of satellite instruments and analyse the unusual behaviour of this plume as its two components first moved down rapidly and then separated in two layers. We also observe the curious self-organization in compact and long-lived patches.