Volcanic H2S emission rate data are scant despite their importance in understanding magma degassing. We present results from direct airborne plume measurements of H2S and CO2 on a 21-orbit survey at eleven different altitudes around Mount Baker volcano in September 2000 utilizing instrumentation mounted in a light aircraft. Measured emission rates of H2S and CO2 were 5.5 td-1 and 187 td-1 respectively. Maximum concentrations of H2S and CO2 encountered within the 4-km-wide plume were 75 ppb and 2 ppm respectively. Utilizing the H2S signal as a marker for the plume allows the corresponding CO2 signal to be more easily and accurately distinguished from ambient CO2 background. This technique is sensitive enough for monitoring weakly degassing volcanoes in a pre-eruptive condition when scrubbing by hydrothermal fluid or aquifers might mask the presence of more acid magmatic gases such as SO2.
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Quiescent hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide degassing from Mount Baker, Washington