The 12 900 years BP Laacher See eruption: estimation of volatile yields and simulation of their fate in the plume
C. Textor, P. M. Sachs, H.-F. Graf, T. H. Hansteen, 2003. "The 12 900 years BP Laacher See eruption: estimation of volatile yields and simulation of their fate in the plume", Volcanic Degassing, C. Oppenheimer, D. M. Pyle, J. Barclay
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We estimated the volatile emissions of the 12 900 years bp eruption of Laacher See volcano (Germany), using a modified petrological method. Glass inclusions in phenocrysts and matrix glasses sampled over the Laacher See tephra profile were analysed by synchrotron X-ray fluorescence microprobe and electron microprobe to obtain the emitted masses of halogens, sulphur, and water. These data were used to initialize the numerical plume model ATHAM in order to investigate the fate of volcanic gases in the plume, and to estimate volatile masses injected into the stratosphere. The scavenging efficiency of each volatile component depends on its interactions with both liquid water and ice. We found a scavenging efficiency of c. 5% for the sulphur species, and of only c, 30% for hydrogen halides, despite their high water solubility. Our simulations showed that the greatest fraction of hydrometeors freeze to ice, due to the fast plume rise and great height of the eruption column. For the dry atmospheric conditions of the Laacher See eruption, the amount of liquid water was not sufficient to completely scavenge HCl and HBr, so that a large proportion could reach the stratosphere.
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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.