Real-time simultaneous detection of volcanic Hg and SO<inf>2</inf> at La Fossa Crater, Vulcano (Aeolian Islands, Sicily)
Aiuppa A., Bagnato E., Witt MLI., Mather TA., Parello F., Pyle DM., Martin RS.
Measuring Hg/SO2 ratios in volcanic emissions is essential for better apportioning the volcanic contribution to the global Hg atmospheric cycle. Here, we report the first real-time simultaneous measurement of Hg and SO2 in a volcanic plume, based on Lumex and MultiGAS techniques, respectively. We demonstrate that the use of these novel techniques allows the measurements of Hg/SO2 ratios with a far better time resolution than possible with more conventional methods. The Hg/SO2 ratio in the plume of FO fumarole on La Fossa Crater, Vulcano Island spanned an order of magnitude over a 30 minute monitoring period, but was on average in qualitative agreement with the Hg/SO2 ratio directly measured in the fumarole (mean plume and fumarole ratios being 1.09 × 10-6 and 2.9 × 10-6, respectively). The factor 2 difference between plume and fumarole compositions provides evidence for fast Hg chemical processing, the plume. Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.