Early Evolution of the Stratospheric Aerosol Plume Following the 2022 Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai Eruption: Lidar Observations From Reunion (21°S, 55°E)

Baron, Alexandre ; Chazette, P. ; Khaykin, S. ; Payen, Guillaume ; Marquestaut, Nicolas ; Bègue, Nelson ; Duflot, Valentin

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<p align=justify>The exceptionally violent eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano (HTHH) of 15 January 2022, in the South Pacific, was associated with a powerful blast that injected gases, steam and aerosol to unprecedentedly high altitudes. This article details unique observations of the young volcanic plume from ground-based lidars at Reunion (21°S, 55°E). Two lidars, operating at wavelengths of 355 and 532 nm, recorded the plume overhead from 19 January until 28 January providing the vertical structure and the optical properties of the plume. A series of thick stratospheric plumes between 36 and 18 km altitude have been characterized along time, with aerosol optical depth as high as 0.84 at 532 nm and negative Angström exponents for the main layers down to ?0.8 ± 0.8. The diversity of plumes properties is explained by the injection heights of the volcanic material as well as stratospheric dynamics and chemistry.</p>
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