The impact of moderate-scale explosive eruptions on stratospheric gas injections.

Halmer, Martina M. and Schmincke, Hans-Ulrich (2003) The impact of moderate-scale explosive eruptions on stratospheric gas injections. Bulletin of Volcanology, 65 (6). pp. 433-440. DOI 10.1007/s00445-002-0270-x.

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Volcanic gases such as SO2, H2S, HCl and COS emitted during explosive eruptions significantly affect atmospheric chemistry and therefore the Earth's climate. We have evaluated the dependence of volcanic gas emission into the atmosphere on altitude, latitude, and tectonic setting of volcanoes and on the season in which eruptions occurred. These parameters markedly influence final stratospheric gas loading. The latitudes and altitudes of 360 active volcanoes were compared to the height of the tropopause to calculate the potential quantity of volcanic gases injected into the stratosphere. We calculated a possible stratospheric gas loading based on different volcanic plume heights (6, 10, and 15 km) generated by moderate-scale explosive eruptions to show the importance of the actual plume height and volcano location. At a plume height of 15 km for moderate-scale explosive eruptions, a volcano at sea level can cause stratospheric gas loading because the maximum distance to the tropopause is 15–16 km in the equatorial region (0–30°). Eruptions in the tropics have to be more powerful to inject gas into the stratosphere than eruptions at high latitudes because the tropopause rises from ca. 9–11 km at the poles to 15–16 km in the equatorial region (0–30°N and S). The equatorial region is important for stratospheric gas injection because it is the area with the highest frequency of eruptions. Gas injected into the stratosphere in equatorial areas may spread globally into both hemispheres.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Volcanic gas emission; Plume height; Atmosphere; Stratosphere; Altitude; Latitude; Tropopause
Research affiliation: OceanRep > SFB 574 > C4
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-MUHS
OceanRep > SFB 574
Kiel University
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1007/s00445-002-0270-x
ISSN: 0258-8900
Contribution Number:
SFB 57424
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2010 11:48
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 17:59

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