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Ground-Based Measurements of the 2014–2015 Holuhraun Volcanic Cloud (Iceland)

Ground-Based Measurements of the 2014–2015 Holuhraun Volcanic Cloud (Iceland)

Title: Ground-Based Measurements of the 2014–2015 Holuhraun Volcanic Cloud (Iceland)
Author: Pfeffer, Melissa
Bergsson, Baldur   orcid.org/0000-0002-2355-2313
Barsotti, Sara   orcid.org/0000-0001-5750-0872
Stefansdottir, Gerdur   orcid.org/0000-0001-6645-0950
Galle, Bo
Arellano, Santiago
Conde, Vladimir
Donovan, Amy
Ilyinskaya, Evgenia
Burton, Mike
... 23 more authors Show all authors
Date: 2018-01-18
Language: English
Scope: 29
University/Institute: Háskóli Íslands
University of Iceland
School: Verkfræði- og náttúruvísindasvið (HÍ)
School of Engineering and Natural Sciences (UI)
Department: Jarðvísindastofnun (HÍ)
Institute of Earth Sciences (UI)
Series: Geosciences;8(1)
ISSN: 2076-3263
2076-3263 (eISSN)
DOI: 10.3390/geosciences8010029
Subject: Holuhraun; Bárðarbunga; Gas; SO2; Cloud height; Eruption monitoring; Fissure eruption; Eldgos; Sprungugos; Lofttegundir; Gosmökkur; Brennisteinsdíoxíð
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/700

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Pfeffer, M., Bergsson, B., Barsotti, S., Stefánsdóttir, G., Galle, B., Arellano, S., . . . Mereu, L. (2018). Ground-Based Measurements of the 2014–2015 Holuhraun Volcanic Cloud (Iceland). Geosciences, 8(1), 29. doi:10.3390/geosciences8010029


he 2014–2015 Bárðarbunga fissure eruption at Holuhraun in central Iceland was distinguished by the high emission of gases, in total 9.6 Mt SO2, with almost no tephra. This work collates all ground-based measurements of this extraordinary eruption cloud made under particularly challenging conditions: remote location, optically dense cloud with high SO2 column amounts, low UV intensity, frequent clouds and precipitation, an extensive and hot lava field, developing ramparts, and high-latitude winter conditions. Semi-continuous measurements of SO2 flux with three scanning DOAS instruments were augmented by car traverses along the ring-road and along the lava. The ratios of other gases/SO2 were measured by OP-FTIR, MultiGAS, and filter packs. Ratios of SO2/HCl = 30–110 and SO2/HF = 30–130 show a halogen-poor eruption cloud. Scientists on-site reported extremely minor tephra production during the eruption. OPC and filter packs showed low particle concentrations similar to non-eruption cloud conditions. Three weather radars detected a droplet-rich eruption cloud. Top of eruption cloud heights of 0.3–5.5 km agl were measured with ground- and aircraft-based visual observations, web camera and NicAIR II infrared images, triangulation of scanning DOAS instruments, and the location of SO2 peaks measured by DOAS traverses. Cloud height and emission rate measurements were critical for initializing gas dispersal simulations for hazard forecasting.


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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