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LIDAR and Forest Fires in the Mediterranean, July 2009

In July 2009 many violent forest fires occurred in the Mediterranean Basin

Prevailing winds were westerlies, which brought ash and aerosols above our LIDAR from Spain, Southern France, Corsica and Sardinia


A map of July 2009 wild fires in the Mediterranean area





Sardegna (Italy), 23 July 2009

Map of EFFIS: forest fires (July 2009)



In this EUMETSAT picture (23 July 2009, 17:00 UTC) the forest fires of Sardinia and Corsica are evidenced. Ash plumes drift toward East and reach the IFAC site. Combustion matter from Marseille and Spain already reached the site in the previous day (22 July 2009)




Forest fires:

22 July 2009


In this EUMETSAT animation (22/7/2009) the smoke layer from Southern France west is not well visible




24 hours of IFAC LIDAR:

On July 22, the day before the dramatic fires of Sardinia and Corsica, aerosol layers originating in southern France and Spain reached the LIDAR at 2000-3500 meter altitude. The depolarization of 5-10% is characteristic of aged forest ash. In this and in the next day,s the LIDAR evidenced the formation of the convective boundary layer in the morning (9-10 UTC), with combustion aerosols being transported from the ground up to 1000-1500 m altitude. The depolarization of these aerosol is evidently comparable with that of the wildfire aerosols.

Aerosol backscatter is represented in arbitrary units. The horizontal line at 1400 m is an instrumental artefact




Forest fires:

23 July 2009






24 hours of IFAC LIDAR:

On July 23, the plume of Sardinia and Corsica forest fires reached the LIDAR between 2000 and 3500 m altitude. The plume was invisible at IFAC at the naked eye. Depolarization increased up to 12%.
Aerosol backscatter is represented in arbitrary units. The horizontal line at 1400 m is an instrumental artefact




Forest fires:

24 July 2009




24 hours of IFAC LIDAR:

On July 24, the plume of Sardinia and Corsica forest fires still reached the LIDAR, but thin midlevel clouds confused the picture. Depolarization decreased to very low values.

The abstract of the paper about this event (presented at S.petersbourg (RU), ILRC 2010, is available here . The detailed ppt slideshow is available here


Massimo Del Guasta - National Institute of Optics (INO) - National Research Council       |       Via Madonna del Piano, 10 - 50019 Sesto Fiorentino - Firenze, Italy  |   Tel (office): +39-055-5226423 - Tel (laboratory) +39-055-5226424   |   Email: Massimo Del Guasta  |   Web: www.ino.it  |   sito ottimizzato per una risoluzione minima di 1024x768 e firefox

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