J. Pelon

Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin, Versailles, Île-de-France, France

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Publications (139)171 Total impact

  • P. Chazette · J. Totems · G. Ancellet · J. Pelon · M. Sicard ·
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    ABSTRACT: We performed synergetic daytime and night-time active and passive remote sensing observations at Menorca (Balearic Island, Spain), over more than 3 weeks during the Chemistry–Aerosol Mediterranean Experiment/Aerosol Direct Radiative Effect in the Mediterranean (ChArMEx/ADRIMED) special observation period (SOP 1a, June–July 2013). We characterized the aerosol optical properties and type in the low and middle troposphere using an automated procedure combining Rayleigh–Mie–Raman lidar (355, 387 and 407 nm) with depolarization (355 nm) and AERONET Cimel® sun-photometer data. Results show a high variability due to varying dynamical forcing. The mean column-averaged lidar backscatter-to-extinction ratio (BER) was close to 0.024 sr-1 (lidar ratio of ∼ 41.7 sr), with a large dispersion of ±33 % over the whole observation period due to changing atmospheric transport regimes and aerosol sources. The ground-based remote sensing measurements, coupled with satellite observations, allowed to document (i) dust particles up to 5 km a.s.l. in altitude originating from Morocco and Algeria from 15 to 18 June with a peak in aerosol optical thickness (AOT) of 0.25 ± 0.05 at 355 nm, (ii) a long-range transport of biomass burning aerosol (AOT = 0.18 ± 0.16) related to North American forest fires detected from 26 to 28 June 2013 by the lidar between 2 and 7 km and (iii) mixture of local sources including marine aerosol particles and pollution from Spain. During the biomass burning event, the high value of the particle depolarization ratio (8–14 %) may imply the presence of dust-like particles mixed with the biomass burning aerosols in the mid troposphere. We show also linearity with SEVIRI retrievals of the aerosol optical thickness within 35 % relative bias, which is discussed as a function of aerosol type.
    Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 11/2015; 15(22):32723-32757. DOI:10.5194/acpd-15-32723-2015 · 4.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Long range transport of biomass burning (BB) aerosols between North America and the Mediterranean region took place in June 2013. A large number of ground based and airborne lidar measurements were deployed in the Western Mediterranean during the Chemistry-AeRosol Mediterranean EXperiment (ChArMEx) intensive observation period. A detailed analysis of the potential North American aerosol sources is conducted including the assessment of their transport to Europe using forward simulations of the FLEXPART Lagrangian particle dispersion model initialized using satellite observations by MODIS and CALIOP. The three dimensional structure of the aerosol distribution in the ChArMEx domain observed by the ground-based lidars (Menorca, Barcelona and Lampedusa), a Falcon-20 aircraft flight and three CALIOP tracks, agree very well with the model simulation of the three major sources considered in this work: Canadian and Colorado fires, a dust storm from Western US and the contribution of Saharan dust streamers advected from the North Atlantic trade wind region into the Westerlies region. Four aerosol types were identified using the optical properties of the observed aerosol layers (aerosol depolarization ratio, lidar ratio) and the transport model analysis of the contribution of each aerosol source: (I) pure BB layer, (II) weakly dusty BB, (III) significant mixture of BB and dust transported from the trade wind region (IV) the outflow of Saharan dust by the subtropical jet and not mixed with BB aerosol. The contribution of the Canadian fires is the major aerosol source during this episode while mixing of dust and BB is only significant at altitude above 5 km. The mixing corresponds to a 20–30 % dust contribution in the total aerosol backscatter. The comparison with the MODIS AOD horizontal distribution during this episode over the Western Mediterranean sea shows that the Canadian fires contribution were as large as the direct northward dust outflow from Sahara.
    Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 11/2015; 15(22):32323-32365. DOI:10.5194/acpd-15-32323-2015 · 4.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A high spectral resolution (HSR) measurement capability in the ultraviolet has been added to the 3-wavelength-2-polarization-backscatter lidar LNG (lidar aerosols nouvelle génération) and tested during several flights. The system includes a Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI) as a spectral discriminator and does not require any frequency locking between the emitter and the interferometer. Results obtained during test flights show that the backscatter and extinction coefficients at 355 nm can be measured with a relative precision of 10% for 60 m and 240 m vertical resolution, respectively, in aerosol layers of 10<sup>-6</sup> m<sup>-1</sup> sr<sup>-1</sup> backscatter coefficient with a 30-km horizontal resolution. The same relative precision is obtained in cirrus clouds of a 2×10<sup>-5</sup> m<sup>-1</sup> sr<sup>-1</sup> backscatter coefficient for the same vertical resolution and a horizontal resolution reduced to 5 km. The capacity of the system to perform wind velocity measurements is also demonstrated with precisions in the range of 1 to 2 ms<sup>-1</sup>. Particle-to-total backscatter ratio and line-of-sight speed measurements have been performed on ground echoes; averaged data show biases less than 1% and 0.15 ms<sup>-1</sup>, respectively.
    Applied Optics 10/2015; 54(29):8776. DOI:10.1364/AO.54.008776 · 1.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cirrus cloud absorption optical depths retrieved at 12.05 μm are compared to extinction optical depths retrieved at 0.532 μm from perfectly co-located observations of single-layered semi-transparent cirrus over ocean made by the Imaging Infrared Radiometer (IIR) and the Cloud and Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) flying on board the CALIPSO (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations) satellite. IIR infrared absorption optical depths are compared to CALIOP visible extinction optical depths when the latter can be directly derived from the measured apparent two-way transmittance through the cloud. An evaluation of the CALIOP multiple scattering factor is inferred from these comparisons after assessing and correcting biases in IIR and CALIOP optical depths reported in version 3 data products. In particular, the blackbody radiance taken in the IIR version 3 algorithm is evaluated, and IIR retrievals are corrected accordingly. Numerical simulations and IIR retrievals of ice crystal sizes suggest that the ratios of CALIOP extinction and IIR absorption optical depths should remain roughly constant with respect to temperature. Instead, these ratios are found to increase quasi-linearly by about 40 % as the temperature at the layer centroid altitude decreases from 240 to 200 K. It is discussed that this behavior can be explained by variations of the multiple scattering factor ηT applied to correct the measured apparent two-way transmittance for contribution of forward-scattering. While the CALIOP version 3 retrievals hold ηT fixed at 0.6, this study shows that ηT varies with temperature (and hence cloud particle size) from ηT = 0.8 at 200 K to ηT = 0.5 at 240 K for single-layered semi-transparent cirrus clouds with optical depth larger than 0.3. The revised parameterization of ηT introduces a concomitant temperature dependence in the simultaneously derived CALIOP lidar ratios that is consistent with observed changes in CALIOP depolarization ratios and particle habits derived from IIR measurements.
    Atmospheric Measurement Techniques 07/2015; 8(7):2759-2774. DOI:10.5194/amt-8-2759-2015 · 2.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This paper presents a study, based on simulations, of the impact of cirrus cloud heterogeneities on the retrieval of cloud parameters (optical thickness and effective diameter) for the Imaging Infrared Radiometer (IIR) on board CALIPSO. Cirrus clouds are generated by the stochastic model 3DCLOUD for two different cloud fields and for several averaged cloud parameters. One is obtained from a cirrus observed on the 25 May 2007 during the airborne campaign CIRCLE-2 and the other is a cirrus uncinus. The radiative transfer is simulated with the code 3DMCPOL. To assess the errors due to cloud heterogeneities, two related retrieval algorithms are used: (i) The split window technique to retrieve the ice crystal effective diameter and (ii) an algorithm similar to the IIR operational algorithm to retrieve the effective emissivity and the effective optical thickness. Differences between input parameters and retrieved parameters are compared as a function of different cloud properties such as the mean optical thickness, the heterogeneity parameter and the effective diameter. The optical thickness heterogeneity for each 1 km × 1 km observation pixel is represented by the optical thickness standard deviation computed using 100 m × 100 m subpixels. We show that optical thickness heterogeneity may have a strong impact on the retrieved parameters, mainly due to the Plane Parallel Approximation (PPA). In particular, for cirrus cloud with ice crystal size of approximately 10 μm, the averaged error on the retrieved effective diameter is about 2.5 μm (~ 25%) and on the effective optical thickness of about −0.20 (~ 12%). Then, these biases decrease with the increase of the ice effective size due to a decrease of the cloud absorption and thus of the PPA bias. Cloud heterogeneity effects are much more higher than other possible sources of error. They become larger than the retrieval incertitude of the IIR algorithm from a standard deviation of the optical thickness, inside the observation pixel, superior to 1.
    08/2014; 7(8):8777-8816. DOI:10.5194/amtd-7-8777-2014

  • EGU, Vienna, Austria; 04/2014

  • EarthCARE Workshop 2014; 01/2014
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    04/2012; 8(16):11. DOI:10.4267/2042/47000
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    ABSTRACT: Recent studies using satellite observations show that numerous dust sources are located in the foothills of the Saharan mountains. Generally, dust emission is closely related to sediment supply and surface wind. Thus, dust emission can be inhibited by either lack of high wind speeds or by unsuitable surface characteristics. Significant rainfall and flash flood events have been proposed to lead to changes in pluvial sediment supplies in mountain drainage systems. These sediments are suitable for dust uplift and assumed to have a main contribution to the dust emission fluxes over these areas. This mechanism could help to explain the observed marked interannual variability of some dust sources, which is currently not well understood. This study uses a novel combination of airborne and space-borne measurements to explore dust sources within complex terrain. It consists of two main parts: First, dust emission forced by the break-down of nocturnal low-level jets is investigated by analysing data from the RAIN4DUST/FENNEC-France aircraft campaign in June 2011 based at Fuerteventura, Spain. Local dust emission over North Mauritania is observed using a combination of different measurement systems flying aboard the French Falcon FA20, such as high resolution aerial ground camera, high-resolution lidar instrument and drop-sondes. The orientation of the flight legs allows for the characterisation of the evolution of a developing dust plume in time and space combining information on ground surface structure and vertical dust distribution. Supplementary analysis of model simulations and satellite remote sensing products provide additional information on the location of dust sources and dust transport paths. Second, the role of pluvial sediment supply for dust emission in desert valleys is investigated. For a selected area over West Africa ENVISAT SAR (synthetic aperture radar) measurements from 2003-2010 are analysed to identify changes in surface sediments through loss of coherence between two consecutive images. Results from this study highlight the contribution of flash floods for dust sources located within complex terrain. Together the two approaches provide a detailed picture of dust emission from sources within complex terrain revealing controls on dust emission from both atmospheric factors and sediment supply.
    EGU 2012; 04/2012
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    ABSTRACT: A central question to understanding the climate of North Africa is to better comprehend and explain the existence of the Central Saharan dust loading maxima in summer. This dust 'hotspot' has been apparent in many satellite products. However, The actual physical processes involved are not clear. Indeed, qualitative maps of dust emissions suggest that emission sources are not co-located with the aerosol optical depth maximum. Therefore, it is not known to what extent the hotspot represents local emission and/or transport from remote emission sources. In this work, we aim to address this question by analysis of the long-term six year Level 1 and 2 Caliop data archive. The vertical profiles of aerosol from the caliop lidar potentially enables identification and quantification of active dust emission events. We then classify emission events according to the driving meteorological processes (e.g. harmatan flow, monsoon flow, mixing of low level jets, cold pools, etc.) from coincident analysis/reanalysis fields. This identification from caliop and classification of processes is based on a set of 'rules' informed by analysis of dust events during the Fennec project observational campaign.
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    04/2012; 8(22):14. DOI:10.4267/2042/47046
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    ABSTRACT: FENNEC is an international program aiming at better understanding the Saharan climate system. In June 2011, about 18 flights of the French Falcon-20 equipped with a lidar and a dropsonde unit were operated over northern Mauritania and Mali. This allowed us to fully document the installation of the 6-km deep heat low over the western Sahara together with Atlantic inflows, Mediterranean surges and other mesoscale features. The aircraft was guided by a unique effort using numerical weather prediction (NWP) models fully coupled with the dust entrainment and deposition scheme. Four daily forecasts over domains covering most of the Sahara included two Meteo-France operational models, ALADIN (24 km, 72 h) and AROME (5 km, 48 h), and the research model Meso-NH operating at low (20 km, 48 h) and high (5 km, 24 h) resolutions. Verification of predicted temperature, water vapor and wind profiles against dropsonde data demonstrated the high quality of the forecasts. This was also shown for dust forecasts through direct comparison between the observed and forecasted vertical structure of the backscattered lidar signal. The benefits of high-resolution forecasts are highlighted here with observed and predicted mesoscale features related to local emission sources, low-level jets, convective downdrafts and oceanic inflows.
    AGU Fall Meeting 2011; 12/2011
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    ABSTRACT: This study reports on the optical and microphysical characterization of particles contained in volcanic ash clouds using thermal infrared radiometry. Several works have shown the potential of the split window technique for estimating the effective particle size and optical thickness of semi-transparent clouds from two channels in the infrared atmospheric window (8 - 12 μm). In the present study, this approach is applied to the characterization of volcanic particles. The inversion algorithm is based on LUTs built with an accurate radiative transfer code, including gaseous absorption as well as multiple scattering and absorption by particles. Realistic spectral variations for optical properties of several types of volcanic particle (Ash, H2SO4 ...) and water or ice clouds have been calculated from refractive indices and Mie theory. In addition, this inversion procedure needs to define the altitude, temperature and thickness of the ash cloud. Consequently, meteorological data relative to the atmosphere and the state of ash cloud have been calculated using the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS). This model allows giving a 3D dynamical transport of the ash plume and its vertical distribution. Ash sources and scenes area have been studied in detail with higher resolution using nested grid system of the model. In a first step, a sensitivity study based on radiative transfer calculations is presented in order to illustrate the potential of this approach. This technique is then applied to volcanic plumes in April-May 2010. Brightness temperatures from the MODIS spectroradiometer, the Infrared Imaging Radiometer (IIR) and the SEVIRI radiometer are used for some scenes acquired simultaneously over North / West of Europe with similar spectral or spatial resolutions. Spatial distribution of the retrieved optical thickness and effective size of particles are presented and analyzed. Comparisons between retrievals from IIR, MODIS and SEVIRI are presented. Contributions of the spectral channels to retrievals, as well as the influence of the particle type are also discussed.
  • P. Bosser · O. Bock · C. Thom · J. Pelon ·
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    ABSTRACT: Water vapor measurements from a mobile Raman lidar developed conjointly by IGN and LATMOS/CNRS are used for documenting water vapor heterogeneities in the lower troposphere and correcting geodetic (as GPS) radio-signal propagation delays in clear sky conditions. This instrument has both capabilities for realizing zenith pointing and slant pointing measurements. This instrument has been involved in different experiments in these past few years (VAPIC-2004, COPS-2007, MANITOUL-2009) providing an interesting set of data acquired under various atmospheric conditions in different geographic areas. These data are now used to evaluate different strategies for lidar humidity measurement calibration, considering collocated GPS observations, radiosoundings profiles and humidity measurements. A new method of calibration using GPS observations analysis has therefore been developed. The joint processing of GPS and lidar data is also shown to improve the GPS positioning.
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    ABSTRACT: Because of their very important spatial and temporal coverage, cirrus clouds are nowadays recognized as having a major impact on the earth-atmosphere radiative budget. However, this impact is still badly evaluated due to our lack of knowledge on the wide range of their microphysical, optical and geometrical properties. Consequently, their study has become of primal importance. Many airborne campaigns have been performed during the last decades, but the high altitudes of these clouds make these precise observations too seldom for a good global comprehension of their properties. The use of spatial instruments such as the infrared radiometer IIR/CALIPSO thus becomes a great help in order to improve our knowledge on these clouds. In May 2007 and October 2008, the two airborne campaigns "CIRCLE-2" and "Biscay 08" were conducted in order to study cirrus clouds, but also to validate the IIR instrument using precise airborne radiometric and in situ measurements. During both campaigns, two aircrafts were equipped with the infrared radiometer CLIMAT-AV, the lidar LEANDRE, and different in situ instruments, and flew right under the track of CALIPSO over the Atlantic Ocean. CLIMAT-AV and LEANDRE were chosen to have characteristics very similar to IIR and CALIOP in order to make measurements comparable. In a first study, the aircraft and satellite measurements were directly compared and showed very good similarities, with a possible bias explained by small differences in scene observations and of instrumental characteristics. This study has now been pushed further by using an optimal estimation method in order to retrieve cirrus cloud microphysical properties such as the optical thickness of the cloud and the effective size of its particles. The retrievals were conducted separately on both instruments and then compared to find very strong correlations. A comparison with operational IIR retrievals, as well as with the in situ observations also shows good results. Finally a quick information constant study has been effectuated in order to quantify the amount of information on the retrieved parameters contained in IIR channels, depending on the cloud properties and the atmospheric conditions. This final study allows us to determine the strengths and weaknesses of IIR measurements, in the view of optimal synergies with other A-Train instruments.
  • D. M. Winker · A. Garnier · J. Pelon · M. Vaughan · S. Young ·
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    ABSTRACT: Cirrus clouds have an important influence on Earth's radiation balance through the scattering and absorption of solar and thermal radiation. Radiation absorbed by cirrus is also a significant contributor to atmospheric heating in the upper troposphere. These effects are often parameterized in terms of the cirrus visible optical depth, but current estimates of global cirrus optical depths - whether from models or from passive satellite sensors -contain significant uncertainties. Cirrus clouds are often semi-transparent and often occur as part of multi-layer cloud structures, which complicates retrievals by passive techniques. The CALIOP lidar, flying on the CALIPSO satellite since 2006, has the potential to provide a much improved global record of cirrus distribution and properties. CALIOP cirrus retrievals must be validated, however, and early comparisons with MODIS retrievals indicated significant discrepancies. There are multiple potential error sources, in both retrievals, which could be the source of these discrepancies. To validate and characterize uncertainties in CALIOP cirrus optical depths, intercomparisons have been performed with several other cirrus datasets. Intercomparisons with infrared retrievals from the IR radiometer carried on the CALIPSO satellite have been particularly informative. Intercomparisons between results from three different CALIOP cirrus retrieval techniques provide further insights. This presentation will discuss the quest to quantify the uncertainties in the CALIOP cirrus retrievals and develop an accurate dataset of cirrus optical depths.
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    ABSTRACT: We report on airborne Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (DOAS) measurements of aerosol extinction and NO2 tropospheric profiles performed off the North coast of Norway in April 2008. The DOAS instrument was installed on the Safire ATR-42 aircraft during the POLARCAT-France spring campaign and recorded scattered light spectra in near-limb geometry using a scanning telescope. We use O-4 slant column measurements to derive the aerosol extinction at 360 nm. Regularization is based on the maximum a posteriori solution, for which we compare a linear and a logarithmic approach. The latter inherently constrains the solution to positive values and yields aerosol extinction profiles more consistent with independently measured size distributions. We present results from two soundings performed on 8 April 2008 above 71 degrees N, 22 degrees E and on 9 April 2008 above 70 degrees N, 17.8 degrees E. The first profile shows aerosol extinction and NO2 in the marine boundary layer with respective values of 0.04 +/- 0.005 km(-1) and 1.9 +/- 0.3 x 10(9) molec cm(-3). A second extinction layer of 0.01 +/- 0.003 km(-1) is found at 4 km altitude where the NO2 concentration is 0.32 +/- 0.2 x 10(9) molec cm(-3). During the second sounding, clouds prevent retrieval of profile parts under 3 km altitude but a layer with enhanced extinction (0.025 +/- 0.005 km(-1)) and NO2 (1.95 +/- 0.2 x 10(9) molec cm(-3)) is clearly detected at 4 km altitude. From CO and ozone in-situ measurements complemented by back-trajectories, we interpret the measurements in the free troposphere as, for the first sounding, a mix between stratospheric and polluted air from Northern Europe and for the second sounding, polluted air from Central Europe containing NO2. Considering the boundary layer measurements of the first flight, modeled source regions indicate closer sources, especially the Kola Peninsula smelters, which can explain the NO2 enhancement not correlated with a CO increase at the same altitude.
    Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 09/2011; 11(17-17):9219-9236. DOI:10.5194/acp-11-9219-2011 · 5.05 Impact Factor
  • D. Josset · Y. Hu · J. Pelon · P. Zhai · P. Lucker ·
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    ABSTRACT: We have determined the CLOUDSAT/sea spray relationship and used it to analyze cirrus clouds optical depth. Differences arise between the different sensors and need to be further investigated. The direct optical depth measurements will greatly improve our knowledge of ice clouds radiative properties.
    2011 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, IGARSS 2011, Vancouver, BC, Canada, July 24-29, 2011; 01/2011
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    ABSTRACT: Water vapor measurements from a Raman lidar developed conjointly by IGN and LATMOS/CNRS are used for documenting water vapor heterogeneities in the lower troposphere and correcting geodetic radio-signal propagation delays in clear sky conditions. This instrument has both capabilities for realizing zenith pointing and slant pointing measurements. During fall 2009, the system was deployed in Toulouse (France) in collaboration with Météo-France, IPGP, CNRS and CNES for an experiment devoted to investigate the impact of water vapor heterogeneities on the propagation of DORIS and GPS signals and subsequent position estimates. During this experiment the lidar was operated for the first time in a slant pointing mode realizing sky maps of slant wet delays which will be used for correcting GPS observations. A second pointing mode was used to track DORIS satellites (Envisat, SPOT4 and SPOT5) for assessing slant wet delays retrieved from DORIS geodetic solutions. The first results from this campaign show a good agreement between both geodetic techniques for zenith wet delay retrieval. The agreement between geodetic techniques, lidar, and radiosoundings are rather good as well, despite a bias remains. Lidar slant pointing measurements are intended to be compared to GPS and DORIS slant retrievals and then used for correcting the GPS data. They are expected to improve the positioning accuracy, especially the vertical component.
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    ABSTRACT: The eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in April-May 2010 highlighted the ash-monitoring capabilities of a variety of sensors now in orbit and the benefits of making use of observations from multiple sensors. Dispersion of the volcanic ash across Europe and subsequent impacts on air traffic resulted in the adoption of safety guidelines on acceptable ash mass concentrations, placing new requirements on the plume transport models used to provide ash advisories. The CALIPSO satellite carries a two-wavelength polarization lidar and a three-band IR radiometer, operating since June 2006. Profiles of spectral and polarized lidar backscatter are used to identify volcanic ash. CALIPSO first detected ash on 15 April and observed the dispersion of the ash plume as it spread across Europe, providing unique observations complementary to passive satellite sensors and groundbased lidars. With a vertical resolution of 60 meters, CALIPSO provides detailed profiles of the vertical distribution of ash. With estimates of ash particle size, which can be obtained from IR observations, profiles of mass concentration can be derived. The observed plume heights and vertically resolved property retrievals can be used for testing the underlying physics of plume transport models and to refine eruption source parameters used in the models. In addition to the lidar, CALIPSO also carries a multiwavelength infrared imager, presenting possibilities for combined lidar-infrared detection and retrieval schemes. This presentation will illustrate capabilities of CALIPSO to identify and characterize the ash plume from Eyjafjallajokull.

Publication Stats

1k Citations
171.00 Total Impact Points


  • 2011
    • Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin
      Versailles, Île-de-France, France
  • 1980-2010
    • French National Centre for Scientific Research
      • • Laboratoire d'aérologie (LA)
      • • Laboratoire de météorologie dynamique (LMD)
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 1989-2006
    • Pierre and Marie Curie University - Paris 6
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 2003
    • Hampton VA Medical Center
      Hampton, Virginia, United States
    • Université du Littoral Côte d'Opale (ULCO)
      Dunkirk, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France
  • 1995-2003
    • Institut Pierre Simon Laplace
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 2002
    • Polytech Paris-UPMC
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France