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Atmospheric, climatic and environmental impacts of volcanic emissions

January 01, 2003


A global three-dimensional chemistry-transport model has been applied to study the tropospheric sulphur cycle, and in particular the volcanic component. The model is in general agreement with previous studies of the global S budget. We find that volcanic emissions constitute 10% of the present-day global SO2 source to the atmosphere, but form 26% of the SO2 burden, and 14% of the sulphate aerosol burden. Two previous modelling studies suggested that the volcanic fraction of sulphate was 18% and 35%, from sources representing 7% and 14%, respectively, of the global total SO2 emission. The results are dependent upon various assumptions about volcanic emissions (magnitude, geographical location, altitude), the global distribution of oxidants, and the physical processes of dry and wet deposition. Because of this dependence upon poorly constrained parameters, it is unclear which modelling study is closest to the truth.

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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
ISBN electronic:
Publication date:
January 01, 2003




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