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Towards a representation of halogen chemistry within volcanic plumes in a chemistry transport model

Abstract : Volcanoes are a known source of halogens to the atmosphere. HBr volcanic emissions lead rapidly to the formation of BrO within volcanic plumes as shown by recent work based on observations and models. BrO, having a longer residence time in the atmosphere than HBr, is expected to have a significant impact on tropospheric chemistry, at least at the local and regional scales. The objective of this paper is to prepare a framework that will allow 3-D modelling of volcanic halogen emissions in order to determine their fate within the volcanic plume and then in the atmosphere at the regional and global scales. This work is based on a 1-D configuration of the chemistry transport model MOCAGE whose low computational cost allows us to perform a large set of sensitivity studies. This paper studies the Etna eruption on the 10 May 2008 that took place just before night time. Adaptations are made to MOCAGE to be able to produce the chemistry occurring within the volcanic plume. A simple sub-grid scale parameterization of the volcanic plume is implemented and tested. The use of this parameterization in a 0.5° × 0.5° configuration (typical regional resolution) has an influence on the partitioning between the various bromine compounds both during the eruption period and also during the night period immediately afterwards. During the day after the eruption, simulations both with and without parameterizations give very similar results that are consistent with the tropospheric column of BrO and SO2 in the volcanic plume derived from GOME-2 observations. Tests have been performed to evaluate the sensitivity of the results to the mixing between ambient air and the magmatic air at very high temperature at the crater vent that modifies the composition of the emission, and in particular the sulphate aerosol content that is key compound in the BrO production. Simulations show that the plume chemistry is not very sensitive to the assumptions used for the mixing parameter (relative quantity of ambient air mixed with magmatic air in the mixture) that is not well known. This is because there is no large change in the compounds limiting/favouring the BrO production in the plume. The impact of the model grid resolution is also tested in view of future 3-D-simulations at the global scale. A dilution of the emitted gases and aerosols is observed when using the typical global resolution (2°) as compared to a typical regional resolution (0.5°), as expected. Taking this into account, the results of the 2° resolution simulations are consistent with the GOME-2 observations. In general the simulations at 2° resolution are less efficient at producing BrO after the emission both with and without the subgrid-scale parameterization. The differences are mainly due to an interaction between concentration effects than stem from using a reduced volume in the 0.5° resolution combined with second order rate kinetics. The last series of tests were on the mean radius assumed for the sulphate aerosols that indirectly impacts the production of BrO by heterogeneous reactions. The simulations show that the BrO production is sensitive to this parameter with a stronger production when smaller aerosols are assumed. These results will be used to guide the implementation of volcanic halogen emissions in the 3-D configuration of MOCAGE.
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L. Grellier, V. Marécal, B. Josse, P. D. Hamer, Tjarda J Roberts, et al.. Towards a representation of halogen chemistry within volcanic plumes in a chemistry transport model. Geoscientific Model Development Discussions, 2014, 7, pp.2581-2650. ⟨10.5194/gmdd-7-2581-2014⟩. ⟨insu-03577338⟩

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