The Calbuco volcano in southern Chile (41.3° S, 72.6° W) underwent three separate eruptions on 22–23 April 2015. Following the eruptions, distinct layers of enhanced lidar backscatter at 532 nm were observed in the lower stratosphere above Buckland Park, South Australia (34.6° S, 138.5° E), and Kingston, Tasmania (43.0° S, 147.3° E), during a small set of observations in April–May 2015. Using atmospheric trajectory modelling and measurements from the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) space-borne lidar and the Ozone Mapping Profiler Suite (OMPS) instrument on the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite, we show that these layers were associated with the Calbuco eruptions. Buckland Park measurements on 30 April and 3 May detected discrete aerosol layers at and slightly above the tropopause, where the relative humidity was well below saturation. Stratospheric aerosol layers likely associated with the eruptions were observed at Kingston on 17 and 22 May in narrow discrete layers accompanied by weaker and more vertically extended backscatter. The measurements on 22 May provided a mean value of the particle linear depolarisation ratio within the main observed volcanic aerosol layer of 18.0 ± 3.0%, which was consistent with contemporaneous CALIOP measurements. The depolarisation measurements indicated that this layer consisted of a filament dominated by ash backscatter residing above a main region having likely more sulfate backscatter. Layer-average optical depths were estimated from the measurements. The mean lidar ratio for the volcanic aerosols on 22 May of 86 ± 37 sr is consistent with but generally higher than the mean for ground-based measurements for other volcanic events. The inferred optical depth for the main volcanic layer on 17 May was consistent with a value obtained from OMPS measurements, but a large difference on 22 May likely reflected the spatial inhomogeneity of the volcanic plume. Short-lived enhancements of backscatter near the tropopause of 17 May likely represented the formation cirrus that was aided by the presence of associated volcanic aerosols. We also provide evidence that gravity waves potentially influenced the layers, particularly in regard to the vertical motion observed in the strong layer on 22 May. Overall, these observations provide additional information on the dispersal and characteristics of the Calbuco aerosol plumes at higher southern latitudes than previously reported for ground-based lidar measurements.
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