If Volcanic material reaches the tropopause and/or the stratosphere, it may affect large areas of earth.


Sarychev Eruption, Kuriles

12 June 09

Chaiten, Chile May 08

Time and Place    LIPS     Caldera    Convection    Sulfur    Ash    Scale   Global   Forecast  Discover


Convective clouds are the vehicles for transporting volcanic materials, including volcanic ash and volcanic gases, high into the atmosphere. Convective clouds can be triggered by forest fires, by large flood basalts, by the eruption of masses of hot volcanic ash and by non-volcanic heating of the ground. They rise spontaneously, buoyed by the heat of the eruption and latent heat.

Essential Point: Convective clouds containing volcanic ash and gas rise like He balloons, bouyed by expanded air heated from the hot ash, lavas and gas of the eruption to reach the stratosphere, where the volcanic materials can have lasting atmospheric effects. If they are only vented to the troposphere, they do not last very long.