Holuhraun Emitted 11 Million Tons of SO2 Gas Skip to content

Holuhraun Emitted 11 Million Tons of SO2 Gas

Scientists at the Icelandic Met Office have calculated that a total of 11 million tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2) were emitted during the six-month Holuhraun eruption in Iceland’s northeastern highlands.

While there was a spike in complaints about asthma, bronchitis and bronchiolitis, the health and environmental impacts appear to have been minimal, the BBC reports.

“The eruption definitely left its trace on the population, and although there was an increase respiratory cases and sales of medicines—nothing extreme was reported,” said Sara Barsotti, coordinator for volcanic hazard at the Icelandic Met Office, who recently spoke at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly in Vienna, Austria.

Based on data from a network of remote sensing and in-situ instruments established shortly after the eruption began last August, Sara and her colleagues have assessed that in addition to the SO2, just over 6.5 million tons of carbon dioxide was released, together with roughly 110,000 tons of hydrogen chloride.

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