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SAGE II measurements of early Pinatubo aerosolsSAGE II satellite measurements of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption cloud in the stratosphere during June, July, and early August 1991 show that aerosols in the tropics reached as high as 29 km altitude with most of the cloud between 20 and 25 km. The most optically thick portions of the cloud covered latitudes from 10 deg S to 30 deg N during the early part of this period. By late July, high stratospheric optical depths were observed to at least 70 deg N, with the high values north of about 30 deg N from layers below 20 km. High pressure systems in both hemispheres were observed to be correlated with the movement of volcanic material at 21 km into the westerly jet stream at high southern latitudes and similarly to high northern latitudes at 16 km. By August, the entire Southern Hemisphere had experienced a 10-fold increase in optical depth relative to early July due to layers above 20 km. Initial mass calculations using SAGE II data place the aerosol produced from this eruption at 20 to 30 megatons, well above the 12 megatons produced by El Chichon.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Mccormick, M. P.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Veiga, R. E.
(Hughes STX Corp. Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 15, 2013
Publication Date
January 24, 1992
Publication Information
Publication: Geophysical Research Letters
Volume: 19
ISSN: 0094-8276
Subject Category
Accession Number
Distribution Limits

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