The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Explosive volcanism as a cause for mass mortality of pteropods

Wall-Palmer, Deborah, Jones, Morgan T., Hart, Malcolm B., Fisher, Jodie K., Smart, Christopher W., Hembury, Deborah J., Palmer, Martin R. and Fones, Gary R. (2011) Explosive volcanism as a cause for mass mortality of pteropods Marine Geology, 282, (3-4), pp. 231-239. (doi:10.1016/j.margeo.2011.03.001).

Record type: Article


Recently, it has been proposed that anthropogenic CO2 emissions may affect marine ecosystems by causing ocean acidification. In particular, it is suggested that within acidified waters, calcifying organisms would be subject to malformation and enhanced dissolution. Here, we present evidence suggesting that this process occurs naturally where explosive volcanism deposits ash directly into ocean surface waters. Sediment cores from around the island of Montserrat, Lesser Antilles volcanic arc, contain distinct horizons of planktic fauna associated with recently deposited volcanic ash layers from the Soufrière Hills volcano. Within these layers are abundant thecosome pteropod shells that display evidence of partial dissolution and etching of their aragonitic shells, and appear to have suffered mass mortality during large eruptions from the volcano. Laboratory studies show that the acids bound to ash surfaces from the 2003 volcanic dome collapse event of the Soufrière Hills volcano could have caused the upper 5 m of the water column to become undersaturated with respect to aragonite. When combined with the large fluxes of acidic aerosols (principally as SO2) from the volcano during eruptions, it is proposed that volcanogenic ocean acidification by marine ash falls is a significant contributing factor to these observed mass mortality events.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 13 March 2011
Published date: 15 April 2011
Keywords: pteropod, soufrière hills volcano, montserrat, ocean acidification, ash-leachates, explosive volcanism


Local EPrints ID: 187391
ISSN: 0025-3227
PURE UUID: 58fbf4fd-f619-4711-bcf5-80a884a0a557

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 16 May 2011 16:03
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 11:45

Export record



Author: Deborah Wall-Palmer
Author: Morgan T. Jones
Author: Malcolm B. Hart
Author: Jodie K. Fisher
Author: Christopher W. Smart
Author: Deborah J. Hembury
Author: Gary R. Fones

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.