Antarctic Ozone Depletion Caused By Volcano

Erebus Volcano and Ozone Depletion

“Erebus volcano eruptions are of the Strombolian type, which volcanic ejecta and gases are known to reach heights of 1–2 km above the volcano summit and, therefore, cannot directly reach the stratosphere (Boichu et al., 2010, 2011; Dibble et al., 2008). However, according to aircraft observations in 1989 at a height of 8 km over Antarctica, the detected aerosol particles were identified as volcanic ejecta of Erebus (Chuan, 1994). Together with HCl and H2SO4 high concentrations in the Antarctic stratosphere, it is indicative of delivery mechanisms of Erebus volcanic gases into the Antarctic stratosphere.

Erebus volcano gas emissions can ascend to the Antarctic stratosphere via high-latitude cyclones which are coupled to the stratospheric polar vortex in cold seasons.”

“Thus, for more than 40 years, Erebus volcano, which activity restarted in 1972, has been a natural source of chemical species destroying the Antarctic ozone. The extremely high Erebus volcanic activity in the early 1980s definitely made a major contribution to the increase of the ozone hole along with man-made chlorofluorocarbons. Regular observations of Erebus volcano gas emissions can help to predict the total ozone content dynamics and, therefore, the ozone hole area.”