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Carbon dioxide emissions from fumarolic ice towers, Mount Erebus volcano, Antarctica

By
L. J. Wardell
L. J. Wardell
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P. R. Kyle
P. R. Kyle
Department of Earth and Environmental Science, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM 87801, USA. (e-mail: wardell@nmt.edu)
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A. R. Campbell
A. R. Campbell
Department of Earth and Environmental Science, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM 87801, USA. (e-mail: wardell@nmt.edu)
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Published:
January 01, 2003

Abstract

Degassing at Mount Erebus occurs as a plume from a persistent convecting anorthoclase phonolite lava lake, and by flank degassing through warm ground and fumarolic ice towers within the summit caldera. The fumarolic ice towers offer a unique and simple approach to quantifying the flank CO2 emissions. Carbon dioxide effluxes were determined at openings in the ice towers by measuring the CO2 concentration, air-flow velocity, and size of the exit orifice. Fluxes ranged from <0.0001 to 0.034 kg s−1 at 43 actively degassing ice towers. Small patches of steaming warm ground contributed 0.010 kg s−1. The δ13C isotopic compositions of the CO2 samples ranged from -2.1 to -4.7%o, suggesting a magmatic origin for the CO2. Fumarolic ice towers allow diffuse degassing to be visually identified, providing a strong advantage in determining the total flux rate of these passive emissions. The estimated output of flank CO2 degassing is 0.46 kg s−1 (40 Mg d_1). Compared with direct airborne measurements of the volcanic plume, passive flank emissions constitute less than 2% of the total volcanic CO2 budget emitted from Mount Erebus.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Volcanic Degassing

C. Oppenheimer
C. Oppenheimer
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D. M. Pyle
D. M. Pyle
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J. Barclay
J. Barclay
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Geological Society of London
Volume
213
ISBN electronic:
9781862394612
Publication date:
January 01, 2003

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