SO2 emissions from Popocatépetl volcano: emission rates and plume imaging using optical remote sensing techniques M. Grutter1, R. Basaldud1, C. Rivera2, R. Harig3, W. Junkerman4, E. Caetano1, and H. Delgado-Granados5 1Centro de Ciencias de la Atmósfera, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico 2Department of Radio and Space Science, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden 3Technische Universität Hamburg-Harburg, Germany 4Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung, Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, Germany 5Instituto de Geofísica, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico
Abstract. Sulfur dioxide emissions from the Popocatépetl volcano in central Mexico
were measured during the MILAGRO field campaign in March 2006. A stationary
scanning DOAS (Differential Optical Absorption Spectrometer) was used to
monitor the SO2 emissions from the volcano and the results were
compared with traverses done with a COSPEC from the ground and a DOAS
instrument on board an ultra-light aircraft. Daytime evolutions as well as
day-to-day variation of the SO2 emissions are reported. A value of
2.45±1.39 Gg/day of SO2 is reported from all the daily averages
obtained during the month of March 2006, with large variation in maximum and
minimum daily averages of 5.97 and 0.56 Gg/day, respectively. The large
short-term fluctuations in the SO2 emissions obtained could be
confirmed through 2-D visualizations of the SO2 plume measured with a
scanning imaging infrared spectrometer. This instrument, based on the
passive detection of thermal radiation from the volcanic gas and analysis
with FTIR spectrometry, is used for the first time for plume visualization
of a specific volcanic gas. A 48-h forward trajectory analysis indicates
that the volcanic plume was predominantly directed towards the
Puebla/Tlaxcala region (63%), followed by the Mexico City and
Cuernavaca/Cuautla regions with 19 and 18% occurrences, respectively.
25% of the modeled trajectories going towards the Puebla region reached
altitudes lower than 4000 m a.s.l. but all trajectories remained over this
altitude for the other two regions.
Citation: Grutter, M., Basaldud, R., Rivera, C., Harig, R., Junkerman, W., Caetano, E., and Delgado-Granados, H.: SO2 emissions from Popocatépetl volcano: emission rates and plume imaging using optical remote sensing techniques, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 8, 6655-6663, doi:10.5194/acp-8-6655-2008, 2008.