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The European Space Agency project Satellite Monitoring of Ash and Sulphur Dioxide for the mitigation of Avi ation Hazards, was introduced after the eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull in the spring of 2010 to facilitate the development of an optimal EndtoEnd System for Volcanic Ash Plume Monitoring and Predic tion. The Eyjafjallajökull plume drifted towards Europe and caused major disruptions of European air traffic for several weeks affecting the everyday life of millions of people. The limitations in volcanic plume monitoring and prediction capabilities gave birth to this observational system which is based on comprehensive satellitederived ash plume and sulphur dioxide [SO2] level estimates, as well as a widespread validation using supplementary satellite, aircraft and groundbased measurements. Intercomparison of the volcanic total SO2 column and plume height observed by GOME2/MetopA and IASI/MetopA are shown before, during and after the Eyjaf jallajökull 2010 eruptions as well as for the 2011 Grímsvötn eruption. Colocated groundbased Brewer Spectro photometer data extracted from the World Ozone and Ultraviolet Radiation Data Centre for de Bilt, the Nether lands, are also compared to the different satellite estimates. Promising agreement is found for the two different types of instrument for the SO2 columns with linear regression coefficients ranging around from 0.64 when comparing the different instruments and 0.85 when comparing the two different IASI algorithms. The agree ment for the plume height is lower, possibly due to the major differences between the height retrieval part of the GOME2 and IASI algorithms. The comparisons with the Brewer groundbased station in de Bilt, The Nether lands show good qualitative agreement for the peak of the event however stronger eruptive signals are required for a longer quantitative comparison.
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