Satellite detection, long-range transport, and air quality impacts of volcanic sulfur dioxide from the 2014–2015 flood lava eruption at Bárðarbunga (Iceland)

The 2014–2015 Bárðarbunga-Veiðivötn fissure eruption at Holuhraun produced about 1.5 km3 of lava, making it the largest eruption in Iceland in more than 200 years. Over the course of the eruption, daily volcanic sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions exceeded daily SO2 emissions from all anthropogenic sources in Europe in 2010 by at least a factor of 3. We present surface air quality observations from across Northern Europe together with satellite remote sensing data and model simulations of volcanic SO2 for September 2014. We show that volcanic SO2 was transported in the lowermost troposphere over long distances and detected by air quality monitoring stations up to 2750 km away from the source.

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