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Thursday, 3 November 2016

Study of volcanic degassing from satellite

Study of volcanic degassing from satellite
Volcanoes are one of the most important sources of SO in atmosphere, but there are large uncertainties associate with these emissions. Satellites provide data globally, an are the only source of information for active volcano where there isn’t ground monitoring. 

The SO2 emitted the middle troposphere interacts with atmospheric constituent (mainly water vapor) to become H2SO4 vapor and sulphate aerosol. This project that will help to character show satellite remote sensing can be used to estimate volcaniSO2 emission and evolution and to reduce the uncertainties associated with this process. 

A new highly accurate SO2 retrieval scheme has been develop for IASI data. The retrieval has average error of2 Dobson units at an altitude 2-3 km (typical of a volcanic source). The accuracy is still not good enough to monitor volcanic degassing using a single measurement but the volcanicSO2 can be measured by taking a time average.

In this project the student will use the IASI SO2 retrieval and associated meteorological wind data to study volcanic emission. The student will quantify the information obtainable from monthly mean measurements. The student was also investigating improvements in the signal-to-noise found by rotating the IASI data according to the wind direction and by rescaling it with the wind speed. The student will use existing IASI SO2 data, existing code to analyze the IASI data, and to read meteorological wind fields (ECMWF data). It is expected the monthly mean map a be interpreted in terms of the volcanic SO2 flux and its oxidation to sulphuric acid. If time permits the student can repeat the analysis for several different volcanic locations. The project is computer based. It will involve the analysis and display of satellite data, requiring some simple programming in IDL. Some experience with the Linux operating system and/or the IDL programming language would be an advantage but is not essential.

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