Cirrus cloud appearance in a volcanic aerosol layer around the tropical cold point tropopause over Biak, Indonesia, in January 2011

T. Shibata, M. Hayashi, A. Naganuma, N. Hara, K. Hara, F. Hasebe, K. Shimizu, N. Komala, Y. Inai, H. Vömel, S. Hamdi, S. Iwasaki, M. Fujiwara, M. Shiotani, S. Y. Ogino, N. Nishi

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12 Citations (Scopus)


An aerosol layer was found 1-2 km around the tropical cold point tropopause by observations using ground-based lidar and balloon-borne optical particle counters (OPC) over Biak, Indonesia, in January 2011. The layer was observed throughout the survey period from 6 to 13 January. The backscattering coefficient of the layer was about 5 times larger than that of the background aerosols. The lidar-observed depolarization ratio of the layer was very low, and the wavelength dependence of the backscattering coefficients of the layer was similar to that of stratospheric aerosols. A layer of the particles at the size of the accumulation mode was also observed by an OPC at ambient temperature, but the particles were volatile at 200C. These properties indicate that the aerosol layer was composed of liquid phase aqueous sulfuric acid solution particles and probably originated from a volcanic eruption. It was observed by lidar that a thin cirrus cloud layer appeared within this aerosol layer. Backward trajectory analysis and satellite-observed equivalent blackbody temperature indicate that the cirrus cloud layer probably formed in situ. The estimated upper limit of the number concentration of cloud particles was 105 m-3. The number concentration of the volatile aerosol particles (∼3 × 10 6 m-3) was 30 times larger than this upper limit. This upper limit, however, is comparable to the aerosol particle concentration observed by the OPC at 200C. These results are consistent with the cirrus cloud formation with solid sulfate particles in tropical upper troposphere suggested by previous studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberD11209
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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