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SO2 degassing at Tungurahua volcano (Ecuador) between 2007 and 2013: Transition from continuous to episodic activity

Hidalgo, S; Battaglia, J; Arellano, S; Steele, A; Bernard, B; Bourquin, J; Galle, B; ... Vasconez, F; + view all (2015) SO2 degassing at Tungurahua volcano (Ecuador) between 2007 and 2013: Transition from continuous to episodic activity. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research , 298 pp. 1-14. 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2015.03.022. Green open access

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Abstract

We present continuous SO2 measurements performed at Tungurahua volcano with a permanent network of 4 scanning DOAS instruments between 2007 and 2013. The volcano has been erupting since September 1999, but on the contrary to the first years of eruption when the activity was quasi-continuous, the activity transitioned in late 2008 towards the occurrence of distinct eruptive phases separated by periods of quiescence. During our study period we distinguish 11 phases lasting from 17 to 527 days separated by quiescence periods of 26 to 184 days. We propose a new routine to quantify the SO2 emissions when data from a dense DOAS monitoring network are available. This routine consists in summing all the highest validated SO2 measurements among all stations during the 10 h of daily working-time to obtain a daily observed SO2 mass. Since measurement time is constant at Tungurahua the “observed” amounts can be expressed in tons per 10 h and can easily be converted to a daily average flux or mass per day. Our results provide time series having an improved correlation on a long time scale with the eruptive phases and with quiescence periods. A total of 1.25 Mt (1.25 × 109 kg) of SO2 has been released by Tungurahua during the study period, with 95% of these emissions occurring during phases of activity and only 5% during quiescence. This shows a contrast with previous volcanic behaviour when passive degassing dominated the total SO2 emissions. SO2 average daily mass emission rates are of 73 ± 56 t/d during quiescent periods, 735 ± 969 t/d during long-lasting phases and 1424 ± 1224 t/d during short-lasting phases. Degassing during the different eruptive phases displays variable patterns. However, two contrasting behaviours can be distinguished for the onset of eruptive phases with both sudden and progressive onsets being observed. The first is characterised by violent opening of the conduit by high energy Vulcanian explosions; and the second by a progressive, in crescendo, development of the activity. The first case is becoming more frequent at Tungurahua making the volcano more dangerous and less predictable.

Type: Article
Title: SO2 degassing at Tungurahua volcano (Ecuador) between 2007 and 2013: Transition from continuous to episodic activity
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2015.03.022
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2015.03.022
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: SO2 degassing, Tungurahua, DOAS, Open and closed system behaviour, Episodic volcanic, Activity
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Earth Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10068170
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