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Geophysical Research Letters

New stratospheric dust belt due to the Chelyabinsk bolide

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Abstract

[1] The Ozone Mapping Profiler Suite (OMPS) Limb Profiler (LP) on the recently launched NASA/NOAA NPP/Suomi satellite detected aerosol excess in the mid-stratosphere (25–45 km altitude) between 50°N and 70°N latitudes. OMPS/LP observations trace this aerosol plume to the meteor that struck near Chelyabinsk, Russia on 15 February 2013. This new dust layer, located above the Junge aerosol layer, has persisted over at least a 3 month period. Material collected on the ground following the bolide explosion showed that the meteor was mostly composed of olivine and pyroxenes. Simulations using Lagrangian and Eulerian atmospheric models trace the plume back to Chelyabinsk and confirm that the plume altitude was at altitudes between 25 and 45 km. The models also confirm the plume circumpolar longitudinal spreading observed by OMPS/LP, with propagation speeds up to 85 m/s.

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