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Mercury fluxes from volcanic and geothermal sources: an update

By
E. Bagnato
E. Bagnato
1
DiSTeM, University of Palermo,Via Archirafi, 36, 90123 Palermo, Italy
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G. Tamburello
G. Tamburello
1
DiSTeM, University of Palermo,Via Archirafi, 36, 90123 Palermo, Italy
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G. Avard
G. Avard
2
Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica, Universidad Nacional, 2346-3000 Heredia, Costa Rica
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M. Martinez-Cruz
M. Martinez-Cruz
2
Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica, Universidad Nacional, 2346-3000 Heredia, Costa Rica
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M. Enrico
M. Enrico
3
Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées, CNRS-GET, 14, avenue Edouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
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X. Fu
X. Fu
3
Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées, CNRS-GET, 14, avenue Edouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
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M. Sprovieri
M. Sprovieri
4
IAMC-CNR, Via del Mare 3, 91021 Torretta Granitola, Mazara del Vallo (TP), Italy
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J. E. Sonke
J. E. Sonke
3
Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées, CNRS-GET, 14, avenue Edouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
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Published:
January 01, 2015

Abstract

We review the state of knowledge on global volcanogenic Hg emissions to the atmosphere and present new data from seven active volcanoes (Poás, Rincón de la Vieja, Turrialba, Aso, Mutnovsky, Gorely and Etna) and two geothermal fields (Las Pailas and Las Hornillas). The variability of Hg contents (c. 4–125 ng m−3) measured in gaseous emissions reflects the dynamic nature of volcanic plumes, where the abundances of volatiles are determined by the physical nature of degassing and variable air dilution. Based on our dataset and previous work, we propose that an average Hg/SO2 plume mass ratio of c. 7.8×10−6 (±1.5×10−6; 1 SE, n=13) is best representative of open-conduit quiescent degassing. Taking into account the uncertainty in global SO2 emissions, we infer a global volcanic Hg flux from persistent degassing of c. 76±30 t a−1. Our data are derived from active volcanoes during non-eruptive periods and we do not have any direct constraint on the Hg flux during periods of elevated SO2 flux associated with large-scale effusive or explosive eruptions. This suggests that the time-averaged Hg flux from these volcanoes is even larger if the eruptive contribution is considered. Conversely, closed-conduit degassing and geothermal emissions contribute modest amounts of Hg.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

The Role of Volatiles in the Genesis, Evolution and Eruption of Arc Magmas

G. F. Zellmer
G. F. Zellmer
Massey University, New Zealand
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M. Edmonds
M. Edmonds
University of Cambridge, UK
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S. M. Straub
S. M. Straub
Columbia University, USA
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Geological Society of London
Volume
410
ISBN electronic:
9781862396982
Publication date:
January 01, 2015

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