Correlation of Volcanic Activity with Sulfur Oxyanion Speciation in a Crater Lake

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Science  27 Mar 1987:
Vol. 235, Issue 4796, pp. 1633-1635
DOI: 10.1126/science.235.4796.1633


The Yugama crater lake at Kusatsu-Shirane volcano, Japan, contains nearly 2200 tons (2800 parts per million) of polythionate ions (Sn O62-, where n = 4 to 9). Analytical data on lake water sampled before and during eruptions in 1982 showed that the concentrations of polythionates decreased and sulfate increased in response to the preeruption activities of the subaqueous fumaroles. These changes were observed 2 months before the first phreatic explosion on 26 October 1982. The monitoring of polythionates and sulfate in crater lake water is a promising means of anticipating potential volcanic eruption hazards.

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