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Abstract

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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