Stratospheric Chlorine Injection by Volcanic Eruptions: HCI Scavenging and Implications for Ozone

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Science  21 May 1993:
Vol. 260, Issue 5111, pp. 1082-1086
DOI: 10.1126/science.260.5111.1082


Because the output of volatile chlorine during a major volcanic event can greatly exceed the annual anthropogenic emissions of chlorine to the atmosphere, the fate of volcanic chlorine must be known. Although numerous observations have shown that volcanoes do not significantly contribute to the stratospheric chlorine burden, no quantitative explanation has been published. Hydrogen chloride (HCI) scavenging processes during the early phases of a volcanic eruption are discussed. A plume dynamics and thermodynamics model is used to show that HCI removal in condensed supercooled water can reduce HCI vapor concentrations by up to four orders of magnitude, preventing substantial stratospheric chlorine injection.