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Holuhraun Eruption Gases Studied

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Holuhraun Eruption Gases Studied

A helicopter above the Baugur crater in Holuhraun.

Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Research on the gases being emitted at the Holuhraun eruption site will be the subject of a new study. Six different kinds of gases are being emitted at the site. The volume of gas is unusually large compared to the amount of magma, ruv.is reports.

Fourteen Icelandic and foreign scientists visited Holuhraun last week. It was the first visit to the site in six weeks.

Ninety percent of the gas from Holuhraun is water, followed by carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide, which each account for 3 to 4 percent of the total amount of gas. There are also small amounts of chlorine and fluorine as well as very small amounts of carbon monoxide, which is the most dangerous.

Compared to other eruptions in Iceland, there has been a lot of sulfur dioxide emitted by Holuhraun—more than has been emitted by Kilauea in Hawaii and Etna in Italy.

Several studies on the effects of sulfur dioxide at eruption sites have been conducted but not in the northern hemisphere.

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