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Satellite observations of atmospheric SO_2 from volcanic eruptions during the time-period of 1996–2002

Khokhar, M. F. and Frankenberg, C. and Van Roozendael, M. and Beirle, S. and Kühl, S. and Richter, A. and Platt, U. and Wagner, T. (2005) Satellite observations of atmospheric SO_2 from volcanic eruptions during the time-period of 1996–2002. In: Atmospheric Remote Sensing: Earth’s Surface, Troposphere, Stratosphere and Mesosphere- I. Advances in Space Research. No.36. Elsevier , pp. 879-887.

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In this article, we present satellite observations of atmospheric sulfur dioxide (SO_2) from volcanic eruptions. Global ozone monitoring experiment (GOME) data for the years 1996–2002 is analyzed using a DOAS based algorithm with the aim of retrieving SO_2 slant column densities (SCD). The retrieval of SO_2 SCD in the UV spectral region is difficult due to strong and interfering ozone absorptions. It is also likely affected by instrumental effects. We investigated these effects in detail to obviate systematic biases in the SO_2 retrieval. A quantitative study of about 20 volcanoes from Italy, Iceland, Congo/Zaire, Ecuador, Japan, Vanuatu Island and Mexico is presented. The focus is on both eruption and out gassing scenarios. We prepared a 7-year mean map (1996–2002) of SO_2 SCD observed by GOME and tabulated the ratios of the maximum SO_2 SCD observed to the average SO_2 SCD as seen in the 7-year mean map. The further aim of this study is to provide information about unknown volcanic eruptions, e.g., Bandai Honshu Japan, Central Islands Vanuatu, Piton de la Fournaise Réunion Island France, Kamchatka region of Russia and from Indonesia especially. The results demonstrate a high sensitivity of the GOME instrument towards SO_2 emissions during both eruption and degassing episodes.

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URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle
Frankenberg, C.0000-0002-0546-5857
Additional Information:© 2005 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Ltd. Received 1 November 2004; received in revised form 24 April 2005; accepted 27 April 2005. The authors acknowledge the financial support and providing ERS-2, GOME data by DLR (Wessling, Germany) and ESA (Frascati, Italy). We especially acknowledge the TOMS Volcanic Emission Group for statistics from their website In addition, special thanks to all colleagues for their contribution and tremendous help.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)UNSPECIFIED
European Space Agency (ESA)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Satellite remote sensing; GOME; SO2 SCD; Volcanic eruptions; Out gassing: ratio
Series Name:Advances in Space Research
Issue or Number:36
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150511-104516783
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Official Citation:M.F. Khokhar, C. Frankenberg, M. Van Roozendael, S. Beirle, S. Kühl, A. Richter, U. Platt, T. Wagner, Satellite observations of atmospheric SO2 from volcanic eruptions during the time-period of 1996–2002, Advances in Space Research, Volume 36, Issue 5, 2005, Pages 879-887, ISSN 0273-1177, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:57409
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:11 May 2015 18:00
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 21:12

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