Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-2545
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-2545
19 Dec 2023
 | 19 Dec 2023

Strength of TROPOMI satellite observations in retrieving hourly resolved sources of volcanic sulfur dioxide by inverse modeling

Abhinna K. Behera, Marie Boichu, François Thieuleux, Nicolas Henriot, and Souichiro Hioki

Abstract. Volcanic eruptions release sulfur dioxide (SO2), impacting air quality, ecosystems, and aviation. To comprehensively assess these effects, high-temporal-resolution SO2 emission data is crucial. In this study, we use an inverse modeling procedure, assimilating SO2 column measurements from TROPOMI and OMPS low-Earth orbit satellites into an Eulerian chemistry-transport model. This procedure allows us to derive precise hourly SO2 mass flux and injection heights. TROPOMI, with its exceptional spatial resolution, excels at detecting short-lived, concentrated SO2 plumes near the source shortly before satellite overpasses. This high-resolution data enables more robust identification and precise characterization of strong SO2 emissions, surpassing the capabilities of lower-resolution OMPS measurements, which may overlook or underestimate vigorous degassing periods. Notably, this high-resolution data also facilitates the detection of pre-eruptive SO2 emissions. Cloud cover can obscure SO2 plumes from satellite observations, but our inverse modeling procedure effectively distinguishes and tracks them by assimilating successive satellite overpass data. Furthermore, this procedure proves less susceptible to ash emissions compared to geostationary Himawari-8/AHI observations. We apply our methodology to study the 2018 Ambrym eruption, a former major volcanic SO2 emitter. This eruption marked the end of long-lived lava lake activity and initiated a submarine eruption through a massive magma intrusion. Our detailed SO2 flux time series unveils the evolution of the eruption and identifies distinct SO2 sources, including lava flows and shallow magma intrusions. In summary, the assimilation of TROPOMI data into inverse modeling procedures offers significant potential for enhancing our understanding of magma transport and environmental impacts during volcanic eruptions.

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Abhinna K. Behera, Marie Boichu, François Thieuleux, Nicolas Henriot, and Souichiro Hioki

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2545', Ben Esse, 19 Jan 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2545', Anonymous Referee #2, 01 Feb 2024
  • AC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2545', Abhinna Behera, 20 Apr 2024

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2545', Ben Esse, 19 Jan 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2545', Anonymous Referee #2, 01 Feb 2024
  • AC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2545', Abhinna Behera, 20 Apr 2024
Abhinna K. Behera, Marie Boichu, François Thieuleux, Nicolas Henriot, and Souichiro Hioki
Abhinna K. Behera, Marie Boichu, François Thieuleux, Nicolas Henriot, and Souichiro Hioki

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Short summary
Volcanic eruptions release sulfur dioxide (SO2), affecting air quality, ecosystems, and aviation. Current global observations lack high temporal-resolution quantitative information, which limits our understanding of volcanic SO2 emissions and their impacts. This study uses advanced satellite data and inverse modeling to track and comprehend emissions from the 2018 Ambrym eruption, the world's leading SO2 emitter. It enhances our ability to effectively monitor and respond to volcanic activity.