SO2 FLUX MONITORING AT POPOCATEPETL VOLCANO, MEXICO, USING THE OZONE MONITORING INSTRUMENT
Giovanni Nin, Lizzette A. Rodriguez.
University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus, Mayagüez, PR.
Volcanic eruptions emit large amounts of gases to the atmosphere, especially water vapor, carbon dioxide, and sulfur dioxide. The monitoring of these volcanic emissions is very important because they can be used to understand and forecast an eruptive process. Approximately 44 satellite images (2012 and 2013) from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) were downloaded and processed to measure the SO2 mass in the plume and then to calculate the SO2 fluxes from one of the most active volcanoes in the world: Popocatepetl, Mexico. Two different techniques were used to determine the SO2 fluxes on Popocatepetl: the single pixel emission rate estimation technique and emission rate estimation based on SO2 plume transect technique. Based on the analysis, the most active period between 2012 and 2013 was during April to May 2012, with an average SO2 flux of 6,710 t/d. This corresponded to the period right before and at the beginning of the eruptive crises in 2012. On the other hand, the period with less activity was between August and October 2012, with an average flux of 1,930 t/d. A trend of increasing SO2 flux was found for the period January to May 2013. Finally, the results were compared with previous works, demonstrating a general correlation in the data, even though the differences were high for certain dates, probably because of errors in the wind-speed data.