Volcanic SO2 fluxes derived from satellite data: a survey using OMI, GOME-2, IASI and MODIS

by N. Theys, R. Campion, L. Clarisse, H. Brenot, J. van Gent, B. Dils, S. Corradini, L. Merucci, P.-F. Coheur, M. Van Roozendael, D. Hurtmans, C. Clerbaux, S. Tait, F. Ferrucci show all authors
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics ()


Sulphur dioxide (SO2) fluxes of active degassing volcanoes are routinely measured with ground-based equip- ment to characterize and monitor volcanic activity. SO2 of unmonitored volcanoes or from explosive volcanic eruptions, can be measured with satellites. However, remote-sensing methods based on absorption spectroscopy generally provide integrated amounts of already dispersed plumes of SO2 and satellite derived flux estimates are rarely reported. Here we review a number of different techniques to de- rive volcanic SO2 fluxes using satellite measurements of plumes of SO2 and investigate the temporal evolution of the total emissions of SO2 for three very different volcanic events in 2011: Puyehue-Cord´ on Caulle (Chile), Nyamula- gira (DR Congo) and Nabro (Eritrea). High spectral resolu- tion satellite instruments operating both in the ultraviolet- visible (OMI/Aura and GOME-2/MetOp-A) and thermal infrared (IASI/MetOp-A) spectral ranges, and multispec- tral satellite instruments operating in the thermal infrared (MODIS/Terra-Aqua) are used. We show that satellite data can provide fluxeswith a sampling of a day or less (fewhours in the best case). Generally the flux results from the different methods are consistent, and we discuss the advantages and weaknesses of each technique. Although the primary objec- tive of this study is the calculation of SO2 fluxes, it also en- ables us to assess the consistency of the SO2 products from the different sensors used.

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