OPEN Scientific reports | 10 Mar 2017
SA Carn, VE Fioletov, CA McLinden, C Li and NA Krotkov
The global flux of sulfur dioxide (SO2) emitted by passive volcanic degassing is a key parameter that constrains the fluxes of other volcanic gases (including carbon dioxide, CO2) and toxic trace metals (e.g., mercury). It is also a required input for atmospheric chemistry and climate models, since it impacts the tropospheric burden of sulfate aerosol, a major climate-forcing species. Despite its significance, an inventory of passive volcanic degassing is very difficult to produce, due largely to the patchy spatial and temporal coverage of ground-based SO2 measurements. We report here the first volcanic SO2 emissions inventory derived from global, coincident satellite measurements, made by the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA’s Aura satellite in 2005-2015. The OMI measurements permit estimation of SO2 emissions from over 90 volcanoes, including new constraints on fluxes from Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Aleutian Islands, the Kuril Islands and Kamchatka. On average over the past decade, the volcanic SO2 sources consistently detected from space have discharged a total of ~63 kt/day SO2 during passive degassing, or ~23 ± 2 Tg/yr. We find that ~30% of the sources show significant decadal trends in SO2 emissions, with positive trends observed at multiple volcanoes in some regions including Vanuatu, southern Japan, Peru and Chile.
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