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From May 1980 to September 1988, more than 1000 fixed-wing aircraft flights were made with a correlation spectrometer to measure the sulfur dioxide flux from Mount St. Helens volcano. These flights also provided valuable data on the structure and dynamics of noneruptive plumes emanating from Mount St. Helens. During 1980 and part of 1981, an infrared spectrometer was also used to measure carbon dioxide emission rates. At distances up to 25 km from Mount St. Helens, plume widths can range up to 20 km or more, with width/thickness ratios from 3 to about 30. Maximum sulfur dioxide concentrations in these plumes depend on wind speed and are typically under 5 ppm and usually 1 ppm or less. Close examination of the plume data reveals that the characteristics of quiescent plumes from Mount St. Helens are strongly affected by certain meteorological conditions such as thermal and wind stratification in the troposphere, as well as by the topography of the volcano. ?? 1992.
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The structure, dynamics, and chemical composition of noneruptive plumes from Mount St. Helens, 1980-1988