I drank far too much coffee last Sunday morning, all thanks to our favourite Ruminarian and his fifth post. In truth, I was still trying to get my inadequate brain around it a couple of evenings later ……
I was not the only one to struggle!
Diana Barnes wrote:
Had Coffee #4 but my small brain needs more time to adsorb all this information. I think I will have to go back to the first rumination and work through it again even more slowly. Lurking you never cease to amaze me!
Grumpybear echoed my thoughts:
This post made my head hurt. That means its a good one
I gave up and printed it.
JulesP summed it up and decided to do some ruminating of his own:
Brilliant rumination! Now I am wondering if there are any other mechanisms by which the sulphur could disperse such that the h2so4 measures (subject of a previous rumination of yours) may not have included all sulphur generated. Need to do some thinking/ digging becuase I suspect that just maybe this isnt the whole picture.
Anyway, in case you missed it, here is a short extract (the whole post and subsequent comments are a must-read !)
”Two of the more significant volcanic eruption styles… are the massive VEI-6+ explosive eruptions… and the not so explosive VEI-6+ flood basalt events. Of the two, one would think that the huge lava flow events wouldn’t have much of an opportunity to loft stuff above the tropopause. We have already seen that SO2 doesn’t have much staying power, and tends to be scavenged out pretty quickly in the area where most of the water vapor is at… down here in our little realm of existence in the troposphere.
Yet there is a way that massive flood basalts can easily contribute to the Stratospheric Aerosol Layer (another name commonly used for the Junge layer.)
It comes in the form of a little molecule called Carbonyl Sulfide. OCS.
Carbonyl Sulfide can be considered as an intermediate between CO2 (carbon dioxide) and CS2 (carbon disulfide). It has a really long persistence in the troposphere… accounting for up to 80% of the sulfur gases present. I’ve seen residence times ranging from 4 years, to 7.1 to 11 years. Basically, it doesn’t like to react. This gives it time to wander throughout the different atmospheric flows and become well distributed. And a really interesting thing happens when it is hit with ultraviolet light of about 200 to 270 angstroms. (UV-C). The bonds begin to break and it dissociates. Once it does that it forms CO2 and S2… the S2 then reacting with the H2O and OH radicals forming H2SO4… the sulfate.
Hello aerosol haze.
Okay… we have a mechanism not involving SO2 that can make sulfate. Some of the largest sources are the oceans, fossil fuel usage, even the making of concrete. (via a catalytic reaction). In general, the background level of the aerosol is not that big of a deal unless something radically increases the amount there… like an large explosive volcano. Or, a really big flood basalt event. (Eldga, Skaftar, Krafla, Þjórsá lava or any of the huge flow fields that pop up in Iceland from time to time)
Remember, OCS is ultra stable in the troposphere, but once it gets to the stratosphere where the UV-C can get at it, hello Aerosol Haze.” GEOLURKING
For a couple of days the majority of VC comments centered on this topic. Questions were raised and answered, alternative theories proposed and shot down. Loads of you were inclined to dig even deeper into the topic and even I finally appreciated what all the fuss was about!
And Alyson found this ‘recipe’:
‘Baking Soda Volcano’
(This for all of us who might find ourselves caring for young children on rainy days!)
You will need:
Wallpaper paste (or make a thick paste using flour and
Red and Yellow Food Colouring (optional)
Liquid dish washing soap
What to do:
Make a papier mache volcano around the plastic bottle using the
newspaper strips and paste. Wait for the volcano to dry out completely. Place your volcano in a container to catch any mess.
Add some baking soda into the bottle. Add a small amount of liquid soap and a few drops of food colouring. Pour some vinegar in and watch your volcano erupt. You can even get creative by painting your volcano to look like a real one or by adding different colour food colourings in.
How does it work?
The chemical reaction between baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and vinegar (acetic acid) produces carbon dioxide gas (CO2). As the carbon dioxide gas is produced, pressure builds up inside the plastic bottle, until the gas bubbles (thanks to the soap) out of the ‘volcano’. Real volcanoes also produce carbon dioxide (CO2), along with a lot of other different gases such as water vapour (H2O), sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen gas (N2), hydrogen gas (H2) and carbon monoxide (CO).’
Wednesday’s informative post was writen by Inge B, Part 1 of a series entitled When glaciers start running, giving us an indepth introduction to the causes and effects of jökulhlaups.
Bruce stout wrote :
Nice one Inge! I love the way the sense of scale kicks in… We think we’ve seen a lot but actually we haven’t seen much yet at all! Imagine a glacier riding on one of these floods… Cripes. that is some serious power.
Renato Rio summed up the post:
What a great reading, Inge!
I’m still very busy to stop by and read all what I have missed and all the great posts and comments, but I must confess I couldn’t stop reading yours down to the end.
And Inge left us wanting more …
”When I started researching this, I was surprised to find out that not only had the “usual suspects” Vatnajökull and Mýrdalsjökull produced bigger and smaller jökulhlaup running in all directions, but that smaller ones were known from virtually all 5 big Icelandic ice caps, i.e. also Drangajökull (most probably not volcanic, because it is situated outside of the active rift zone), Hofsjökull and Langjökull. (O. Sigurdsson, 2005) And two years ago, we could observe how the outlet glacier Gígjökull from
Eyjafjallajökull covered a small glacier lake with debris during some jökulhlaup. http://en.vedur.is/hydrology/articles/nr/2097
The phenomenon is of course not limited to Iceland, but is possible in all parts of the world with glacier covered volcanoes like Alaska or the Andes in South America.
And there have also been famous floods in the distant past, i.e. the Pleistocene, like the Lake Missoula floods which carved out the Columbia River Gorge in the USA, the Altai floods in Siberia, even one in Germany (Münsterland) and then there is the case of Jökulsárgljúfur in Iceland. Some of them are thought to have involved such an enormous quantity of water that the one of 1996 in Iceland is really dwarfed by comparison. But we’ll speak more about these in later posts.” INGE B
This morning Diana Barnes observed:
Iceland is way too quiet!
We agree with you Diana! Just a little excitement wouldn’t be too much of a problem, would it?
And now for a Riddle – Name those Volcanoes
5 volcanoes – 5 dings – 5 points
No 1 – Carbon dioxide, Hydrochloric acid, Vermiculite, Lanolin ….. and they have in common? SOLVED
No 2 – A mountain on Titan is named after this volcano’s alter ego – SOLVED
No 3 – Luckily, coffee is on hand to fortify the local villagers whilst they dare to live inside – SOLVED
No 4 – Oh no it didn’t! Oh yes it did! A devastating flow of toxic water wiped out all the Pantomime’s aquatic stars – SOLVED
No 5 – Local legend tells of a huge, disgruntled mountain and an abandoned, lonely heart – SOLVED