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Effectiveness of low-cost air quality monitors for identifying volcanic SO2 and PM downwind from Masaya volcano, Nicaragua

Whitty, R. C. W; Pfeffer, M. A; Ilyinskaya, E; Roberts, T. J; Schmidt, A; Barsotti, S; Strauch, W; ... Baxter, P; + view all (2022) Effectiveness of low-cost air quality monitors for identifying volcanic SO2 and PM downwind from Masaya volcano, Nicaragua. Volcanica , 5 (1) 10.30909/vol.05.01.3359. Green open access

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Abstract

Gas and particulate matter (PM) emissions from Masaya volcano, Nicaragua, cause substantial regional volcanic air pollution (VAP). We evaluate the suitability of low-cost SO2 and PM sensors for a continuous air-quality network. The network was deployed for six months in five populated areas (4-16 km from crater). The SO2 sensors failed and recorded erroneous values on multiple occasions, likely due to corrosion, requiring significant maintenance commitment. The PM sensors were found to be robust but data required correction for humidity. SO2 measurements could not be used as stand-alone tools to detect occurrence of VAP episodes (VAPE), but SO2/PM correlation reliably achieved this at near-field stations, as confirmed by meteorological forecasts and satellite imagery. Above-background PM concentrations reliably identified VAPE at both near-field and far-field stations. We suggest that a continuous network can be built from a combination of low-cost PM and SO2 sensors with a greater number of PM-only sensors.

Type: Article
Title: Effectiveness of low-cost air quality monitors for identifying volcanic SO2 and PM downwind from Masaya volcano, Nicaragua
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.30909/vol.05.01.3359
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.30909/vol.05.01.3359
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2022. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License,
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Electronic and Electrical Eng
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/10139531
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