Mercury emissions from active volcanoes are of interest for monitoring and forecasting volcanic activity, and for estimating the volcanogenic contribution of Hg to the atmosphere. We collected Hg from air samples during the first two weeks of September 1980, while Mt St Helens was in a non-eruptive phase. Mercury concentrations in the plume varied between 750 and 1,800 ng m-3. With these analyses we calculated that the daily Hg output from the Mt St Helens system ranged from 200 to 1,700 kg. Rough estimates of yearly Hg release from volcanic sources worldwide suggest that volcanoes may be important contributors of Hg to the atmosphere.
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