The University of Sheffield
Department of Geography

Volcano-Atmosphere Interactions

Volcano with emissionsIn addition to supplying important information about underground conditions, volcanic gases also play a number of very important roles, when released to the atmosphere. For instance, emitted SO2 is oxidised to form sulphate aerosol, which cools the Earth by reflecting sunlight back to space, hence countering anthropogenic global warming. Furthermore, these emissions are significant in respect of global geochemical cycles, for example representing the primary mechanism for the transit of volatiles from the mantle to the atmosphere. Finally, there is the recent discovery that tropospheric volcanic plumes are host to a series of fascinating and previously unrecognised chemical reactions, in particular, involving the depletion of ozone.

Recent Research Highlights