Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 5, 11861-11897, 2005
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Atmospheric transport and deposition of Indonesian volcanic emissions
M. A. Pfeffer1, B. Langmann1, and H.-F. Graf2
1Department of the Atmosphere in the Earth System, Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany
2Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

Abstract. A regional climate model study has been performed to investigate the transport and atmospheric loss rates of emissions from Indonesian volcanoes and the sensitivity of these emissions to meteorological conditions and the solubility of the released emissions. Two experiments were conducted: 1) volcanic sulfur released as primarily SO2 and oxidation to SO42− determined by considering the major tropospheric chemical reactions; and 2) PbCl2 released as an infinitely soluble passive tracer. The first experiment was used to calculate SO2 loss rates from each active volcano resulting in an annual mean loss rate for all volcanoes of 1.1×10−5 s−1, or an e-folding rate of approximately 1 day. SO2 loss rate was found to vary seasonally, be poorly correlated with wind speed, and uncorrelated with temperature or relative humidity. The variability of SO2 loss rates is found to be correlated with the variability of wind speeds, suggesting that it is much more difficult to establish a ''typical'' SO2 loss rate for volcanoes that are exposed to inconsistent winds. Within an average distance of 69 km away from the active Indonesian volcanoes, 53% of SO2 is lost due to conversion to SO42−, 42% due to dry deposition, and 5% is lost due to lateral transport away from the dominant direction of plume travel. The solubility of volcanic emissions in water is shown to have a major influence on their atmospheric transport and deposition. High concentrations of PbCl2 are predicted to be deposited near to the volcanoes while volcanic S travels further away until removal from the atmosphere primarily via the wet deposition of H2SO4. The ratio of the concentration of PbCl2 to SO2 is found to exponentially decay at increasing distance from the volcanoes. The more rapid removal of highly soluble species should be considered when making observations of SO2 in an aged plume and relating this concentration to other volcanic species. An assumption that the ratio between the concentrations of highly soluble volcanic compounds and S within an aged plume is equal to that observed in fumarolic gases will result in an overestimation of the atmospheric concentration of highly soluble species.

Citation: Pfeffer, M. A., Langmann, B., and Graf, H.-F.: Atmospheric transport and deposition of Indonesian volcanic emissions, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 5, 11861-11897, doi:10.5194/acpd-5-11861-2005, 2005.
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