Characterization of iceland volcanic aerosols by UV-polarization lidar at Lyon, SW Europe

Alain Miffre, Grégory David, Benjamin Thomas, Patrick Rairoux

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


In this paper, a ground-based UV-polarization Lidar is used to characterize the optical properties of volcanic particles that originated from the Eyjafjöll volcano (63.63°N, 19.62°W, Iceland) and advected over Lyon (45.76°N, 4.83°E, France), a distance 2,600 kilometers away. The volcanic origin of the observed particles has been confirmed with 7-days air mass back-trajectories and FLEXPART dispersion model. The measured UV-particle backscattering coefficient is typically equal to 4 × 10-6 UV-depolarization ratios measurements have been performed in the troposphere of Lyon to measure the degree of volcanic particle non-sphericity. Experimental efforts have been done to determine the systematic errors contributing to the retrieved UV-particle depolarization ratio δp. The precision on retrieved δp-values is hence dominated by the uncertainty on the extinction to backscatter ratio S = 55 ± 10. It follows that the microphysical properties of the observed volcanic aerosols are quite difficult to retrieve from δp. However, a main volcanic layer of 2 kilometres width has been observed in the troposphere of Lyon, where measured UV δp-values reach up to (30 ±; 10) %, showing that the observed highly dispersed and aged volcanic particles are irregular-shaped particles, even at more than 2,000 km from the Eyjafjöll volcano.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRemote Sensing of Clouds and the Atmosphere XV
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
EventRemote Sensing of Clouds and the Atmosphere XV - Toulouse, France
Duration: Sep 21 2010Sep 23 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherRemote Sensing of Clouds and the Atmosphere XV

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Depolarization
  • Dispersion model
  • Lidar
  • UV
  • Volcanic particles


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