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ISRN Atmospheric Sciences
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 245076, 17 pages
Review Article

Volcanic Ash versus Mineral Dust: Atmospheric Processing and Environmental and Climate Impacts

Institute of Geophysics, University of Hamburg, Geomatikum, Office 1411, Bundesstraße 55, 20146 Hamburg, Germany

Received 29 April 2013; Accepted 26 May 2013

Academic Editors: A. M. Siani and E. Tagaris

Copyright © 2013 Baerbel Langmann. 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.


This review paper contrasts volcanic ash and mineral dust regarding their chemical and physical properties, sources, atmospheric load, deposition processes, atmospheric processing, and environmental and climate effects. Although there are substantial differences in the history of mineral dust and volcanic ash particles before they are released into the atmosphere, a number of similarities exist in atmospheric processing at ambient temperatures and environmental and climate impacts. By providing an overview on the differences and similarities between volcanic ash and mineral dust processes and effects, this review paper aims to appeal for future joint research strategies to extend our current knowledge through close cooperation between mineral dust and volcanic ash researchers.