Fine Particles in the Soufriere Eruption Plume

Science  04 Jun 1982:
Vol. 216, Issue 4550, pp. 1118-1119
DOI: 10.1126/science.216.4550.1118


The size distributions of fine particles measured at tropospheric altitudes in the periphery of the eruption plume formed during the 17 April 1979 eruption of Soufriere Volcano and in the low-level effluents on 15 May 1979 were found to be bimodal, having peak concentrations at geometric mean diameters of 1.1 and 0.23 micrometers. Scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive x-ray analysis of the samples revealed an abundance of aluminum and silicon and traces of sodium, magnesium, chlorine, potassium, calcium, and iron in the large-particle mode. The submicrometer-sized particles were covered with liquid containing sulfur, assumed to be in the form of liquid sulfuric acid.