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Ground-based and airborne measurements of the Mount St. Helens stratospheric effluentsShortly after the 18 May eruption, a series of airborne lidar flights were made over the Eastern United States. During the same period, ground-based systems were activated throughout the world. The available worldwide lidar data is put together in a consistent set. These data show the dispersion of material at different altitudes during the early global circuits. The material in the lower stratosphere and upper troposphere was very patchy in horizontal extent with backscattering ratio values over the east coast of the United States greater than 100 at the ruby wavelength of 0.6943. Two wavelength ratios and depolarization values for the material in the lower stratosphere (12 to 18 km) appear to have returned to the pre-18 May values within a month after the eruption and this indicated a rapid conversion to spherical shapes and normal indices of refraction. The material above 20 km moved slowly westward while most of the ejecta moved eastward at various speeds and directions which varied considerably with altitude. The westward material was detected first by the Japanese lidar system and then subsequently by the European and American ground-based systems. It circuited the globe in about 60 days. An airborne lidar flight in early September across the continental United States showed the layers to have homogenized considerably one broad layer between about 14 and 21 km peaking at 18 to 19 km and another more intermittent thin layer between 21 and 22 km. The ruby peak backscattering ratio of the broad layer was between 1.3 and 1.5.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Mccormick, M. P. (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 11, 2013
Publication Date
October 1, 1982
Publication Information
Publication: Atmospheric Effects and Potential Climatic Impact of the 1980 Eruptions of Mt. St. Helens
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle19830003264Analytic PrimaryAtmospheric Effects and Potential Climatic Impact of the 1980 Eruptions of Mount St. Helens
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