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AGU journal highlights -- June 15, 2011
Date:6/15/2011

measured hydrogen sulfide in a volcanic plume. Volcanoes release hydrogen sulfide in large quantitiesyearly global estimates range from 1 to 37 teragrams (1.1 to 40.7 million US tons). Along with sulfur dioxide, which is estimated to be emitted from volcanoes at about 15 to 21 teragrams per year (16.5 to 23.1 million US tons per year), hydrogen sulfide is a major portion of the volcanic sulfur released into the atmosphere. The ratio of hydrogen sulfide to sulfur dioxide emissions is useful for studying source conditions, sulfur chemistry, and magma-water interactions.

However, unlike sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide has been challenging to measure in the atmosphere. Clarisse et al. use infrared satellite observations to characterize hydrogen sulfide from the 7-8 August 2008 eruption of the Kasatochi volcano in the Aleutian Islands. The eruption consisted of five explosive events; the observations indicated that the hydrogen sulfide plume was likely associated with the earlier events. The study shows that volcanoes are significant sources of hydrogen sulfide in the atmosphere and demonstrates for the first time that satellites can observe hydrogen sulfide plumes.

Source: Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1029/2011GL047402, 2011
http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2011GL047402

Title: Infrared satellite observations of hydrogen sulfide in the volcanic plume of the August 2008 Kasatochi eruption

Authors: Lieven Clarisse, Pierre-Franois Coheur, Simon Chefdeville, Jean-Lionel Lacour, and Daniel Hurtmans: Spectroscopie de l'Atmosphre, Service de Chimie Quantique et Photophysique, Universit Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium;

Cathy Clerbaux: Spectroscopie de l'Atmosphre, Service de Chimie Quantique et Photophysique, Universit Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium; and LATMOS, IPSL, CNRS, INSU, Universit Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France.


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Contact: Maria-Jos Vias
mjvinas@agu.org
202-777-7530
American Geophysical Union
Source:Eurekalert

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