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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 03 Jun 2019

Research article | 03 Jun 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Unified observation co-existing volcanic sulphur dioxide and sulphate aerosols using ground-based Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy

Pasquale Sellitto1, Henda Guermazi1,2,3, Elisa Carboni4, Richard Siddans5, and Mike Burton6 Pasquale Sellitto et al.
  • 1Laboratoire Inter-universitaire des Systèmes Atmosphériques, Université Paris-Est Créteil, France
  • 2Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, École Normale Supérieure, Paris, France
  • 3National School of Engineers of Sfax, Water, Energy and Environment Laboratory L3E, University of Sfax, Tunisia
  • 4COMET, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics, University of Oxford, Clarendon Laboratory, Oxford, UK
  • 5UK Reseach and Innovation, Science and Technology Facilities Council, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Chilton, UK
  • 6School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

Abstract. We developed an optimal-estimation algorithm to simultaneously retrieve, for the first time, co-emitted volcanic gaseous SO2 and sulphate aerosols (SA) from groundbased FTIR observations. These effluents, both linked to magmatic/degassing and subsequent atmospheric evolution processes, have overlapping spectral signatures leading to mutual potential interferences when retrieving one species without considering the other.We show that significant overestimations may be introduced in SO2 retrievals if the radiative impact of co-existent SA is not accounted for, which may have impacted existing SO2 long-term series, e.g. from satellite platform. The method was applied to proximal observations at Masaya volcano, where SO2 and SA concentrations, and SA acidity were retrieved. A gas-to-particle sulphur partitioning of 400 and a strong SA acidity (sulphuric acid concentration: 65 %) where found, consistently with past in-situ observations at this volcano. This method is easily exportable to other volcanoes, to monitor magma extraction processes and the atmospheric sulphur cycle.

Pasquale Sellitto et al.
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Pasquale Sellitto et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Volcanoes release complex plumes of gas and particles. Volcanic gases, like SO2, can additionally condense, once released, to form particles, sulphate aerosols (SA). Observing simultaneously SO2+SA is important: their proportion provides information on the internal state of volcanoes, can be used to predict plumes’ atmospheric evolution and their environmental/climatic impacts. We have developed a new method to observe simultaneously, for the first time, SO2+SA using infrared remote sensing.
Volcanoes release complex plumes of gas and particles. Volcanic gases, like SO2, can...