Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Geology (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences


Simon Anthony Carn


Mount Etna, Italy, is one of the most active volcanoes in the world, and is also regarded as one of the strongest volcanic sources of sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions to the atmosphere. Since October 2004, an automated ultraviolet (UV) spectrometer network (FLAME) has provided ground-based SO2 measurements with high temporal resolution, providing an opportunity to validate satellite SO2 measurements at Etna. The Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on the NASA Aura satellite, which makes global daily measurements of trace gases in the atmosphere, was used to compare SO2 amount released by the volcano during paroxysmal lava-fountaining events from 2004 to present. We present the first comparison between SO2 emission rates and SO2 burdens obtained by the OMI transect technique and OMI Normalized Cloud-Mass (NCM) technique and the ground-based FLAME Mini-DOAS measurements. In spite of a good data set from the FLAME network, finding coincident OMI and FLAME measurements proved challenging and only one paroxysmal event provided a good validation for OMI. Another goal of this work was to assess the efficacy of the FLAME network in capturing paroxysmal SO2 emissions from Etna, given that the FLAME network is only operational during daylight hours and some paroxysms occur at night. OMI measurements are advantageous since SO2 emissions from nighttime paroxysms can often be quantified on the following day, providing improved constraints on Etna’s SO2 budget.

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Geology Commons