Bromine release during Plinian eruptions along the Central American Volcanic Arc.

Hansteen, Thor , Kutterolf, Steffen , Appel, Karen, Freundt, Armin , Perez, Wendy and Wehrmann, Heidi (2010) Bromine release during Plinian eruptions along the Central American Volcanic Arc. [Talk] In: AGU Fall Meeting 2010. , 13.-17.12.2010, San Francisco, USA .

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these “Plinian” eruptions reached well into the stratosphere such that their released volatiles may have influenced atmospheric chemistry and climate. While previous research has focussed on the sulfur and chlorine emissions during such large eruptions, we here present measurements of the heavy halogen bromine by means of synchrotron radiation induced micro-XRF microanalysis (SR-XRF) with typical detection limits at 0.3 ppm (in Fe rich standard basalt ML3B glass). Spot analyses of pre-eruptive glass inclusions trapped in minerals formed in magma reservoirs were compared with those in matrix glasses of the tephras, which represent the post-eruptive, degassed concentrations. The concentration difference between inclusions and matrix glasses, multiplied by erupted magma mass determined by extensive field mapping, yields estimates of the degassed mass of bromine. Br is probably hundreds of times more effective in destroying ozone than Cl, and can accumulate in the stratosphere over significant time scales. Melt inclusions representing deposits of 22 large eruptions along the CAVA have Br contents between 0.5 and 13 ppm. Br concentrations in matrix glasses are nearly constant at 0.4 to 1.5 ppm. However, Br concentrations and Cl/Br ratios vary along the CAVA. The highest values of Br contents (>8 ppm) and lowest Cl/Br ratios (170 to 600) in melt inclusions occur across central Nicaragua and southern El Salvador, and correlate with bulk-rock compositions of high Ba/La > 85 as well as low La/Yb <5. Thus we observe the maximum magmatic Br-concentrations in the segements of the arc. where the input of sediment and water into the subduction system is largest and the melting column is longest. The largest eruptive emissions of Br into the atmosphere, however, occurred in Guatemala due to the large magnitude of eruptions. The most prominent example is the 84 ka Los Chocoyos eruption from Atitlán Caldera, which discharged 700 kilotons of Br. On average, each of the remaining 21 CAVA eruptions studied have discharged c.100 kilotons of bromine. During the past 200 ka, CAVA volcanoes have emitted a cumulative mass of 3.2 Mt of Br through highly explosive eruptions. There are six periods in the past (c. 2ka, 6ka, 25ka, 40ka, 60ka, 75ka) when up to four larger eruptions occurred within only several hundred years. The heavy halogen release of these eruptions may have had a cumulative effect on the atmosphere which is presently investigated by climate/atmosphere models based on our analyses as input data.

Document Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Talk)
Keywords: Geodynamics; Bromine, subduction; volcanology; Central American Volcanic Arc
Research affiliation: OceanRep > SFB 574 > C4
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-MUHS
OceanRep > SFB 574 > C2
OceanRep > SFB 574
Contribution Number:
SFB 574
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2011 09:40
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2023 05:17

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