Measurements of so < inf> 2 profiles in volcanic plumes from the NASA Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES)

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Satellite measurements are now recognized as a key element for the early detection and characterization of volcanic eruptions, in particular in the context of aircraft routing. A common tracer of volcanic plumes is sulfur dioxide (SO2), which so far has been measured by ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) instruments and multispectral infrared (IR) sounders. Here we report the first SO2 vertical profile retrieved from high spectral resolution thermal infrared nadir radiance spectra and we provide information on both the quantity of gas emitted and its altitude. From the radiance spectra provided by the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) aboard the NASA AURA satellite, and owing to the ∼0.1 cm-1 (apodized) spectral resolution, elevated levels of SO2 were measured following volcanic eruptions occurring in 2005 (Manam, Sierra Negra) and 2006 (Rabaul, Nyamuragira). Column values are found to be in good agreement with the data provided by Ozone Mapping Instrument (OMI), a UV-vis instrument also onboard the AURA satellite. Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.

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Geophysical Research Letters