Skip to comments.Geology Picture of the Week, July 6-12, 2008: Kilauea "Fireworks"
Posted on 07/09/2008 7:33:20 AM PDT by cogitator
Scale is impossible to judge when there's nothing nearby with a size you can judge by: this lava fountain on the flow field of Kilauea is 12-15 meters high. Click for full-size.
Click: Kilauea Eruption Images to access a Quicktime movie of this fountain.
Golly, I wonder how much CO2 that thing is spewing into the atmosphere?
Who will pay for its carbon credits?
** ping **
Very little, actually; volcanoes are not a significant source of CO2 to the atmosphere*. The primary gases in volcanic emissions are water vapor and sulfur dioxide, and a bit of other acids like HCl. Also, basaltic volcanoes like Kilauea have much less gas in their emissions than the explosive (andesitic) volcanoes like Pinatubo or the Cascade Range.
* But there is a little; changes in the rate of plate tectonics over geologic time do change the atmospheric concentration of CO2. This is because increased movement of continental plates increases the subduction rate of carbonate sediments at plate boundaries, and this carbonate does get converted to CO2 in volcanic emissions. Even though it is never a major component, sustained increases in overall global volcanic activity (which happens when plate tectonics speed up) will therefore increase atmospheric CO2 concentration. Kilauea is a hot spot volcano and not a subduction zone volcano, so its emissions wouldn't be affected by this anyway.
Some very cool (or not so cool!) pictures on the site. Thanks!
Actually, the gases and ash from volcanos tend to cool the atmosphere. Unless a volcano happens to come up through an overlying layer of sedimentary rock full of carbonates, a rare event, it will release precious little CO_2.
Is this eruption a “gore-basm”? Enjoy your holiday too.
Or, well, actually .... not so cool. But it is neat.
(By the way, the Free Republic fund raiser gopher was standing under a heat lamp under your flowing lava picture. I’m sure the heat lamp is a redundant heat source.....
But do the sulphur oxides act as a net reflector, or a concentrator of sunlight?
Actually, the main cooling effect is from sulfur dioxide aerosols in the stratosphere (reflection). The dust settles out a lot quicker, so its cooling effect is short-term.