How Fast Do Gases from Volcanic Eruptions Travel?
ES0906  Aerosol Animation

In addition to gases like sulfur dioxide, huge amounts of ash (very small particles of rock material) were injected into the atmosphere by the eruption.

Small particles of dust, smoke, and volcanic ash suspended in the air are called aerosols. The Aerosol Index (also measured by TOMS instruments) is a measure of the relative amount of aerosols in the atmosphere. This animation shows the Aerosol Index for six days after Mount Pinatubo's main eruption. The eruption is not the only source of worldwide aerosols, but you can easily follow the "cloud" it generated through the animation.

  !   Click the image to see the animation. Step through the frames to examine the behavior of the aerosol cloud.

 

8. How is the movement of the aerosol cloud similar to the sulfur dioxide cloud? How is it different?

Click here to find out more about aerosols.


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