Basaltic fissure eruptions, plume heights, and atmospheric aerosols

Richard B. Stothers, John A. Wolff, Stephen Self, Michael Rampino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Convective plumes that rise above Hawaiian‐style fire fountains consist of volcanic gases, aerosols, fine ash, and entrained heated air. Plume theory has been applied to observational estimates of the rate of thermal energy release from large fire fountains. The theoretically predicted heights of maintained plumes agree very well with the heights found from actual observations. Predicted plume heights for both central‐vent (point‐source) and fissure (line‐source) eruptions indicate a stratospheric penetration by plumes that form over vents with very high magma‐production rates. Flood basalt fissure eruptions that produce individual lava flows with volumes > 100 km³ at very high mass eruption rates are capable of injecting large quantities of sulfate aerosols into the lower stratosphere, with potentially drastic short‐term atmospheric consequences, like acid precipitation, darkening of the sky, and climatic cooling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)725-728
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume13
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1986

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fissure
volcanic eruptions
plumes
aerosols
volcanic eruption
plume
aerosol
darkening
volcanic gas
acid precipitation
flood basalt
vents
lava
ashes
stratosphere
thermal energy
lava flow
basalt
sky
volcanology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

Basaltic fissure eruptions, plume heights, and atmospheric aerosols. / Stothers, Richard B.; Wolff, John A.; Self, Stephen; Rampino, Michael.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 13, No. 8, 1986, p. 725-728.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Stothers, Richard B. ; Wolff, John A. ; Self, Stephen ; Rampino, Michael. / Basaltic fissure eruptions, plume heights, and atmospheric aerosols. In: Geophysical Research Letters. 1986 ; Vol. 13, No. 8. pp. 725-728.
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