The tropospheric sulphur cycle and the role of volcanic SO2
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.
Figures & Tables
Humans have long marvelled at (and feared) the odorous and colourful manifestations of volcanic emissions, and, in some cases, have harnessed them for their economic value. The degassing process responsible for these phenomena is now understood to be one of the key factors influencing the timing and nature of volcanic eruptions. Moreover the surface emissions of these volatiles can have profound effects on the atmospheric and terrestrial environment, and climate. Even more fundamental are the relationships between the history of planetary outgassing, differentiation of the Earth’s interior, chemistry of the atmosphere and hydrosphere, and the origin and evolution of life. This book provides a compilation of 23 papers that investigate the behaviour of volatiles in magma, the feedbacks between degassing and magma dynamics, and the composition, flux, and environmental, atmospheric and climatic impacts of volcanic gas emissions.