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Degassing of CO2, SO2, and H2S associated with the 2009 eruption of Redoubt Volcano, Alaska

June 1, 2013

The 2009 eruption of Redoubt Volcano, Alaska was particularly well monitored for volcanic gas emissions. We report 35 airborne measurements of CO2, SO2, and H2S emission rates that span from October 2008 to August 2010. The magmatic system degassed primarily as a closed system although minor amounts of open system degassing were observed in the 6 months prior to eruption on March 15, 2009 and over 1 year following cessation of dome extrusion. Only 14% of the total CO2 was emitted prior to eruption even though high emissions rates (between 3630 and 9020 t/d) were observed in the final 6 weeks preceding the eruption. A minor amount of the total SO2 was observed prior to eruption (4%), which was consistent with the low emission rates at that time (up to 180 t/d). The amount of the gas emitted during the explosive and dome growth period (March 15–July 1, 2009) was 59 and 66% of the total CO2and SO2, respectively. Maximum emission rates were 33,110 t/d CO2, 16,650 t/d SO2, and 1230 t/d H2S. Post-eruptive passive degassing was responsible for 27 and 30% of the total CO2 and SO2, respectively. SO2 made up on average 92% of the total sulfur degassing throughout the eruption. Magmas were vapor saturated with a C- and S-rich volatile phase, and regardless of composition, the magmas appear to be buffered by a volatile composition with a molar CO2/SO2 ratio of ~ 2.4. Primary volatile contents calculated from degassing and erupted magma volumes range from 0.9 to 2.1 wt.% CO2 and 0.27–0.56 wt.% S; whole-rock normalized values are slightly lower (0.8–1.7 wt.% CO2 and 0.22–0.47 wt.% S) and are similar to what was calculated for the 1989–90 eruption of Redoubt. Such contents argue that primary arc magmas are rich in CO2 and S. Similar trends between volumes of estimated degassed magma and observed erupted magma during the eruptive period point to primary volatile contents of 1.25 wt.% CO2 and 0.35 wt.% S. Assuming these values, up to 30% additional unerupted magma degassed in the year following final dome emplacement.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2013
Title Degassing of CO2, SO2, and H2S associated with the 2009 eruption of Redoubt Volcano, Alaska
DOI 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2012.04.012
Authors Cynthia A. Werner, Peter J. Kelly, Michael P. Doukas, Taryn Lopez, Melissa Pfeffer, Robert G. McGimsey, Christina A. Neal
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Index ID 70193549
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Volcano Science Center