Impacts of troposheric volcanic gas plumes on terrestrial ecosystems: case of Ambrym volcano, Vanuatu archipelago
Gases released non-eruptively into the troposphere by
degassing volcanoes have been the subject of numerous
investigations, since volcanic emissions may convey valuable
information about subsurface magma activity and magma
hydrothermal interactions, which can be used in conjunction
with other geophysical techniques for eruption monitoring.
The release of volcanic gases and aerosols may significantly
influence the chemistry of the troposphere at the local,
regional and global scale.
Long ignored in the global volcanic emission budget, Ambrym
volcano (Vanuatu archipelago) was revealed through recent
measurements as one of the largest known contemporary point
sources of volcanic emissions on Earth. Temporary and
continuous detrimental effects on natural and cultivated
vegetation have been observed in relation to its passive
volcanic degassing. Deposition of halogen acids, combined with
SO2 and sulphuric acid aerosols has caused significant
defoliation of vegetation on the island, and a very high fluorine
flux results in long-term exposure to high fluoride levels. This
paper highlights evidences of volcanic emissions high impacts
on Ambrym Island.