New methods make volcanology research less hazardous
Article first published online: 3 JUN 2011
©1996. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union
Volume 77, Issue 41, pages 393–397, 8 October 1996
How to Cite
1996), New methods make volcanology research less hazardous, Eos Trans. AGU, 77(41), 393–397, doi:10.1029/96EO00270., , , and (
- Issue published online: 3 JUN 2011
- Article first published online: 3 JUN 2011
Volcanic gases are important to the scientific community for many reasons: the Earth's secondary atmosphere originated through volcanic degassing, and volcanic gases still play a crucial role in the Earth system. Occasional massive eruptions pump such large quantities of acid gas into the stratosphere that the resulting aerosols modify global climate for months or years. Also, volcanic gases escaping from magma bodies act as “messengers” that warn of impending eruptions and convey insight into magma chamber processes.
Volcanologists are interested in both the fluxes and the compositions of exhaled gases, but collecting in situ measurements on active volcanoes is hazardous. Several volcanologists were killed by an unexpected eruption of Galeras volcano in Colombia in January 1993, including our colleague Geoff Brown. This tragedy emphasized the need for remote methods for studying volcanoes. Two approaches are being explored: satellite remote sensing and ground-based techniques.