Science project 4: Volcanic impacts on atmospheric dynamics (VolDyn)

Science goals

Project VolDyn will investigate the impact of volcanic eruptions on the dynamics of the atmosphere. It will focus on building a mechanistic understanding of the dynamical responses to the direct radiative effects of volcanic aerosol, and the sensitivity of these responses to the structure of the forcing. The area of focus includes the mesosphere, stratosphere and troposphere, and the project will integrate results from other projects of the research unit which help to define the structure and uncertainty range of volcanic forcing based on observations and detailed modelling. Specific questions to be addressed are:

  • How do the effects of volcanic eruptions on atmospheric dynamics depend on the specific characteristics of the eruptions?
  • How does the dynamics of the mesosphere respond to major volcanic eruptions?


Hauke Schmidt (PI, MPI-M), Sandra Peglow (PostDoc, University of Greifswald), Matt Toohey (Co-I, Geomar & University of Saskatchewan), Christian von Savigny (Co-I, University of Greifswald), NN (Ph.D. student, MPI-M)

Selected publications

Bittner, M. C. Timmreck, H. Schmidt, M. Toohey and K. Krüger, The impact of wave-mean flow interaction on the Northern Hemisphere polar vortex after tropical volcanic eruptions. – J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 121, 5281–5297, doi:10.1002/2015JD02460, 2016.

Bittner, M., H. Schmidt, C. Timmreck and F. Sienz, Using a large ensemble of simulations to assess the Northern Hemisphere stratospheric dynamical response to tropical volcanic eruptions und its uncertainty. – Geophys. Res. Lett., 43, 9324 – 9332, doi:10.1002/2016GL070587, 2016.

Borchert, S., G. Zhou, M. Baldauf, H. Schmidt, G. Zängl and D. Reinert, The upper-atmosphere extension of the ICON general circulation model. – Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss., 12, 3541–3569, doi:10.5194/gmd-2018-289, 2019.

Toohey, M., K. Krüger, M. Bittner, C. Timmreck and H. Schmidt, The Impact of Volcanic Aerosol on the Northern Hemisphere Stratospheric Polar Vortex: Mechanisms and Sensitivity to Forcing Structure. – Atmos. Chem. Phys., 14, 23, 13063 – 13079, doi:10.5194/acp-14-13063-2014, 2014.