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SAGE and SAM II measurements of global stratospheric aerosol optical depth and mass loadingSeveral volcanic eruptions between November 1979 and April 1981 have injected material into the stratosphere. The SAGE and SAM II satellite systems have measured, with global coverage, the 1-micron extinction produced by this material, and examples of the data product are shown in the form of global maps of stratospheric optical depth and altitude-latitude plots of zonal mean extinction. These data, and that for the volcanically quiet period in early 1979, have been used to determine the changes in the total stratospheric mass loading. Estimates have also been made of the contribution to the total aerosol mass from each eruption. It has been found that between 1979 and mid-1981, the total stratospheric aerosol mass increased from a background level of approximately 570,000 metric tons to a peak of approximately 1,300,000 metric tons.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Kent, G. S. (Institute for Atmospheric Optics and Remote Sensing Hampton, VA, United States)
Mccormick, M. P. (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 12, 2013
Publication Date
June 30, 1984
Publication Information
Publication: Journal of Geophysical Research
Volume: 89
ISSN: 0148-0227
Subject Category
Distribution Limits