Airborne Studies of the Emissions from the Volcanic Eruptions of Mount St. Helens

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Science  20 Feb 1981:
Vol. 211, Issue 4484, pp. 816-818
DOI: 10.1126/science.211.4484.816


The concentrations of particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter in the ash emissions from Mount St. Helens have been more than 1000 times greater than those in the ambient air. Mass loadings of particles less than 2 micrometers in diameter were generally several hundred micrograms per cubic meter. In the ash clouds, produced by the large eruption on 18 May 1980, the concentrations of several trace gases generally were low. In other emissions, significant, but variable, concentrations of sulfur gases were measured. The 18 May eruption produced nuées ardentes, lightning flashes, and volcanic hail.