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Monitoring gas emissions can help forecast volcanic eruptions

September 29, 2015

As magma ascends in active volcanoes, dissolved volatiles partition from melt into a gas phase, rise, and are released into the atmosphere from volcanic vents. The major components of high-temperature volcanic gas are typically water vapor, carbon dioxide, and sulfur dioxide. 

Volcanologists have long recognized that measuring the chemical composition and emission rates of these discharged volatiles can help them understand the physical and chemical processes occurring within volcanic systems. However, in the past, continuous monitoring of gas emissions has been difficult because of the remote locations of many active volcanoes and the harsh environmental conditions at these sites.

In late April, 40 scientists collaborating in the Network for Observation of Volcanic and Atmospheric Change (NOVAC) gathered for the first time in 5 years. The meeting, held on Turrialba Volcano in Costa Rica, was intended to provide a platform for the exchange of experiences with NOVAC instrumentation, spectral evaluation, and data interpretation.


Citation Information

Publication Year 2015
Title Monitoring gas emissions can help forecast volcanic eruptions
DOI 10.1029/2015EO034081
Authors Christoph Kern, J. Maarten de Moor, Bo Galle
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Eos, Earth and Space Science News
Index ID 70157597
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Volcano Science Center