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SAGE measurements of Mount St. Helens volcanic aerosolsThe SAGE satellite system was used to make measurements on the optical extinction produced by stratospheric aerosols from the Mount St. Helens eruption. Two periods of observation were analyzed. In the first period (May 21 to 31, 1980), SAGE moved southward from latitude 60 N, and crossed the United States approximately one week after the May 18th eruption. Enhancements in stratospheric extinction were confined to latitudes between about 55 N and 25 N and longitudes between 10 W and 140 W. Individual layers were observed up to altitudes of 23 km. The geographical location of these layers corresponded closely to that expected on the basis of high-altitude meteorological data. During June and much of July, SAGE was, by reason of its geographical position and other orbital characteristics, unable to make further measurements on the northern hemisphere. Between July 19th and August 12th a second southward pass over the northern hemisphere occurred and further observations were made. The volcanic aerosol in the stratosphere was now found to be widely distributed over the hemisphere, the maximum concentrations being north of 50 N. The aerosol showed considerable inhomogeneity and had reached as far south as 15 N but little, if any, had crossed the equator into the southern hemisphere. Individual layers at different heights were still distinguishable. The total stratospheric aerosol loading on this occasion appeared to be greater than in May and corresponded to an increase in global stratospheric mass of between 50 and 100 percent.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Kent, G. S.
(Institute for Atmospheric Optics and Remote Sensing Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 11, 2013
Publication Date
October 1, 1982
Publication Information
Publication: NASA. Langley Research Center Atmospheric Effects and Potential Climatic Impact of the 1980 Eruptions of Mt. St. Helens
Subject Category
Environment Pollution
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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