Monitoring gas emissions can help forecast volcanic eruptions

Eos, Earth and Space Science News
By: , and 



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.


Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Monitoring gas emissions can help forecast volcanic eruptions
Series title Eos, Earth and Space Science News
DOI 10.1029/2015EO034081
Volume 96
Issue 17
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Publisher location Washington, DC
Contributing office(s) Volcano Science Center
Description 1 p.
First page 6
Last page 6
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N