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Atmosphere 2018, 9(7), 238; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9070238

Compositional and Mineralogical Effects on Ice Nucleation Activity of Volcanic Ash

1
Department of Geological Sciences, The University of Alabama, Box 870338, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487, USA
2
Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Box 216, Boulder, CO 80309, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 April 2018 / Revised: 17 June 2018 / Accepted: 18 June 2018 / Published: 22 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ice Nucleation in the Atmosphere)
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Abstract

Volcanic ash produced during explosive eruptions may serve as ice nuclei in the atmosphere, contributing to the occurrence of volcanic lightning due to tribocharging from ice–ice or ice–ash collisions. Here, different ash samples were tested using deposition-mode and immersion-mode ice nucleation experiments. Results show that bulk composition and mineral abundance have no measurable effect on depositional freezing at the temperatures tested, as all samples have similar ice saturation ratios. In the immersion mode, there is a strong positive correlation between K2O content and ice nucleation site density at −25 °C and a strong negative correlation between MnO and TiO2 content at temperatures from −35 to −30 °C. The most efficient sample in the immersion mode has the highest surface area, smallest average grain size, highest K2O content, and lowest MnO content. These results indicate that although ash abundance—which creates more available surface area for nucleation—has a significant effect on immersion-mode freezing, composition may also contribute. Consequently, highly explosive eruptions of compositionally evolved magmas create the necessary parameters to promote ice nucleation on grain surfaces, which permits tribocharging due to ice–ice or ice–ash collisions, and contribute to the frequent occurrence of volcanic lightning within the eruptive column and plume during these events. View Full-Text
Keywords: volcanic ash; ice nucleating particles; ice nucleation activity; immersion-mode heterogeneous nucleation; deposition-mode heterogeneous nucleation; volcanic lightning volcanic ash; ice nucleating particles; ice nucleation activity; immersion-mode heterogeneous nucleation; deposition-mode heterogeneous nucleation; volcanic lightning
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Genareau, K.; Cloer, S.M.; Primm, K.; Tolbert, M.A.; Woods, T.W. Compositional and Mineralogical Effects on Ice Nucleation Activity of Volcanic Ash. Atmosphere 2018, 9, 238.

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