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Advances in Geosciences An open-access journal for refereed proceedings and special publications

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Adv. Geosci., 14, 35-40, 2008
© Author(s) 2008. This work is licensed under
the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.
02 Jan 2008
Satellite-based detection of volcanic sulphur dioxide from recent eruptions in Central and South America
D. Loyola1, J. van Geffen2, P. Valks1, T. Erbertseder3, M. Van Roozendael2, W. Thomas4, W. Zimmer1, and K. Wißkirchen3 1German Aerospace Center (DLR), Remote Sensing Technology Institute (IMF), 82234 Wessling, Germany
2Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, Av. Circulaire 3, 1180 Brussels, Belgium
3German Aerospace Center (DLR), German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD), 82234 Wessling, Germany
4Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD), P.O. Box 10 04 65, 63004 Offenbach, Germany
Abstract. Volcanic eruptions can emit large amounts of rock fragments and fine particles (ash) into the atmosphere, as well as several gases, including sulphur dioxide (SO2). These ejecta and emissions are a major natural hazard, not only to the local population, but also to the infrastructure in the vicinity of volcanoes and to aviation. Here, we describe a methodology to retrieve quantitative information about volcanic SO2 plumes from satellite-borne measurements in the UV/Visible spectral range. The combination of a satellite-based SO2 detection scheme and a state-of-the-art 3D trajectory model enables us to confirm the volcanic origin of trace gas signals and to estimate the plume height and the effective emission height. This is demonstrated by case-studies for four selected volcanic eruptions in South and Central America, using the GOME, SCIAMACHY and GOME-2 instruments.

Citation: Loyola, D., van Geffen, J., Valks, P., Erbertseder, T., Van Roozendael, M., Thomas, W., Zimmer, W., and Wißkirchen, K.: Satellite-based detection of volcanic sulphur dioxide from recent eruptions in Central and South America, Adv. Geosci., 14, 35-40,, 2008.