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Volcanic gas and aerosol emissions: ground based remote sensing, atmospheric impact and modeling of magma degassing processes

Objective

Volcanic gases and aerosols have significant impacts on the atmosphere, human health and climate. In addition they give access to deep magmatic and hydrothermal processes. Ground based optical remote sensing methods give the opportunity to measure both variations of gas compositions and fluxes.

This requires the determination of the gas plume velocity, which is often approximated by wind speed and direction, inducing large errors on its estimation. Direct plume velocity measurements give more accurate values. A simpler and new approach has been recently proposed, which involves combining multiple ultraviolet spectrometers (DOAS: Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy) tracking the presence of inhomogeneities in the volcanic gas cloud.

This technique and the subsequent rigorous statistical data treatment, using, in particular, Full Correlation Analysis (FCA), will lead to a quantitative error budget on the plume velocity and subsequent flux. In the near future, this improvement will lead to better estimations of the atmospheric impact. Moreover it will allow real-time data acquisition and processing, essential for routine volcano monitoring and hazard assessment.

Volcanoes of Costa Rica present an important continuous degassing activity and are perfect candidates for such field applications. The development of conceptual and physico-chemical models to interpret temporal variations and possibly cyclic patterns in volcano degassing will permit a better characterization of the volcano-magmatic system.

Call for proposal

FP6-2005-MOBILITY-5
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Coordinator

THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
Address
The Old Schools, Trinity Lane
Cambridge
United Kingdom