Chlorine radicals measured in Eyjafjallajökull volcanic plume

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Abstract

[1] When the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull erupted in spring 2010, it disrupted commercial air travel, stranding passengers across Europe and beyond. In response to the lack of information on the volcanic ash load and dispersion, scientific instruments were deployed on a number of special flights to observe the composition and chemistry of the volcanic plume and included three deployments aboard a Lufthansa aircraft of the Civil Aircraft for the Regular Investigation of the Atmosphere Based on an Instrument Container (CARIBIC) observational instrument package. Baker et al. report on the first observation-based estimates of chlorine radical concentrations in the volcanic plume. Previous studies had suggested that chlorine radicals could exist in volcanic plumes. This study, the first to identify chlorine radical chemistry and quantify chlorine radicals in a volcanic plume, will help researchers to more fully understand volcanic chemistry, particularly halogen chemistry, and its effects on the atmosphere. (Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1029/2011GL047571, 2011)

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