Earth:Multi-component gas analyzer system

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A multi-component gas analyzer system is often one of many instruments used to measure gases and monitor volcanic activity.

A multi-component gas analyzer system (Multi-GAS) is an instrument package used to take real-time high-resolution measurements of volcanic gases.[1] A Multi-GAS package includes an infrared spectrometer for CO2, two electrochemical sensors for SO2 and H2S, and pressure–temperature–humidity sensors, all in a weatherproof box.[2][3] The system can be used for individual surveys or set up as permanent stations[1] connected to radio transmitters for transmission of data from remote locations.[4] The instrument package is portable, and its operation and data analysis are simple enough to be conducted by non-specialists.[5]

Multi-GAS instruments have been used to measure volcanic gases at Mount Etna, Stromboli, Vulcano Italy, Villarrica (volcano) Chile, Masaya Volcano Nicaragua, Mount Yasur, Miyake-jima and Mount Asama Japan, Soufrière Hills Montserrat, with permanent installations at Etna and Stromboli.[6]

The development of this instrument has helped scientists to monitor real-time changes in volcanic gas composition, allowing for more rapid hazard mitigation and an enhanced understanding of volcano processes.[7][1]

System mechanics

Multi-GAS permanent field station. Set-up consists of a Multi-GAS, satellite terminal, 12V batteries, and solar panel control located inside the wooden box. Satellite antenna, solar panels, and multi-GAS intake/outtake located outside of the box.

Multi-component gas analyzer systems are used for measuring the major components of volcanic gases. CO2, SO2, H2S, and pressure-temperature-humidity sensors are typically included in a package.[4] Other electrochemical sensors have been successfully incorporated as well, including for H2[8] and HCl.[9] The instruments are packaged in compact, portable, weather-resistant containers allowing for in situ measurements of various types of outgassing terrains.[2] Gas is pumped into the system at a constant flow rate through a silicone tube placed near the location of interest.[2] A data-logger is used to automatically record and convert the voltage values from the sensors into gas composition values.[2][3] While the field use of a multi-GAS is simple, postprocessing of the data can be complex.[3] This is due to factors like instrument drift, and atmospheric or environmental conditions.[3] The system can be used for short term or long term studies. Short term usage can include powering the multi-GAS by a lithium battery and moving it around to desired locations[10][11] or setting up a multi-GAS in a fixed location for a short period of time.[7] Long term studies involve setting up a permanent installment for an extended time.[12] These stations can be set-up with radio transmitters[4] or satellites to send data from distant locations.[13]

Volcano monitoring

Raw multi-GAS data showing the correlation between CO2 and H2S. Fitting a linear regression line to raw data allows for the calculation of the CO2/H2S ratio for monitoring changes in the gas output of the system.

Monitoring changes in gas composition allows for an understanding of changes occurring in the associated volcanic system. Multi-GAS measurements of real-time CO2/SO2 ratios can allow detection of the pre-eruptive degassing of rising magmas, improving the prediction of volcanic activity.[1] As magma rises beneath the surface CO2 solubility decreases and the gas readily exsolves, leading to an increase in the CO2/SO2 ratio. A new input of CO2-rich magma into a previously degassed system would also cause the CO2/SO2 ratio to rise, indicating changes in volcanic activity.[1] During a two year study at Mount Etna quiescent periods had CO2/SO2 ratios <1, but during the lead up to an eruption values as high as 25 were seen.[1] Magmatic or hydrothermal input can be monitored by the temporal variations in H2S/SO2 ratios, advancing the understanding of future eruptive behavior.[13] CO2/H2S ratios are used to define the characteristic gas composition of the sampled area.[14] The ratio can be a tool for understanding how the magmatic gas may have been scrubbed.[14] Other molar ratios and gas species measured by a multi-GAS can provide information for further analysis of volcanic conditions.[3]

Case studies

Multi-GAS stations have been employed at many volcanoes all around the world[6] and due to its simple design it can be employed by many groups, like scientists, for academic purposes, or government agencies like the USGS, that can use data for public safety reasons.[15] In Europe and Asia volcanoes like Stromboli[16] and Vulcano,[17] Mount Yasur,[18] Miyake-jima[19] and Mount Asama[20] are well monitored with stations. In the Americas, Villarrica,[21] Masaya Volcano,[22] Mount St. Helens,[15] and Soufrière Hills[23] are also observed with instruments for changes in volcanic gas output.

Mount Etna, Italy

A permanent multi-GAS installment was placed by Mount Etna's summit crater to collect real-time measurements of H2O, CO2, and SO2 over a 2-year period. Data was used to correlate increasing CO2/SO2 ratios with rising magma beneath the edifice and associated volcanic eruptions.[1]

Krýsuvík, Iceland

A multi-GAS was emplaced in the Krýsuvík geothermal system to collect real-time time-series data of H2O, CO2, SO2, and H2S. Molar ratios were compared with local seismic data; increased gas ratio values followed episodes of increased seismicity. Degassing activity increases after ground movement due to the opening of new paths (e.g. fractures) in the crust for the gas to flow.[4]

Yellowstone, United States

To help understand caldera dynamics a multi-GAS was used to measure temporal variations in volcanic gases at Yellowstone. Temporal variations coincided with atmospheric and environmental fluctuations. Molar ratios fell within a binary mixing trend.[12]

Nyiragongo, Democratic Republic of the Congo

CO2/SO2 molar ratios from multi-GAS measurements confirmed a previous observation that an increase in lava lake levels correlates with an increase in the CO2/SO2 ratio.[24]

Deep Earth Carbon Degassing Project (DECADE)

The DECADE project supported initiatives to set up and expand the use of permanent instrumentation for continuous CO2, and SO2 measurements from volcanoes.[25] Multi-GAS systems have been set up at volcanoes such as Villarrica, Chile[21] and Turrialba, Costa Rica.[13]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Aiuppa, Alessandro; Moretti, Roberto; Federico, Cinzia; Giudice, Gaetano; Gurrieri, Sergio; Liuzzo, Marco; Papale, Paolo; Shinohara, Hiroshi et al. (2007). "Forecasting Etna eruptions by real-time observation of volcanic gas composition". Geology 35 (12): 1115. doi:10.1130/G24149A.1. Bibcode2007Geo....35.1115A. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Aiuppa, A.; Federico, C.; Giudice, G.; Gurrieri, S. (2005). "Chemical mapping of a fumarolic field: La Fossa Crater, Vulcano Island (Aeolian Islands, Italy)". Geophysical Research Letters 32 (13): L13309. doi:10.1029/2005GL023207. Bibcode2005GeoRL..3213309A. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Tamburello, Giancarlo (2015). "Ratiocalc: Software for processing data from multicomponent volcanic gas analyzers" (in en). Computers & Geosciences 82: 63–67. doi:10.1016/j.cageo.2015.05.004. ISSN 0098-3004. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Gudjónsdóttir, Sylvía Rakel; Ilyinskaya, Evgenia; Hreinsdóttir, Sigrún; Bergsson, Baldur; Pfeffer, Melissa Anne; Michalczewska, Karolina; Aiuppa, Alessandro; Óladóttir, Audur Agla (2020). "Gas emissions and crustal deformation from the Krýsuvík high temperature geothermal system, Iceland" (in en). Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 391: 106350. doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2018.04.007. ISSN 0377-0273. Bibcode2020JVGR..39106350G. 
  5. Shinohara, Hiroshi (2005). "A new technique to estimate volcanic gas composition: plume measurements with a portable multi-sensor system". Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 143 (4): 319–333. doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2004.12.004. Bibcode2005JVGR..143..319S. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Volcanic-gas monitoring". Volcanic gas monitoring, Ch 6 in Volcanism and Global Environmental Change. Cambridge University Press. January 2015. pp. 81–96. doi:10.1017/CBO9781107415683.009. ISBN 9781107058378. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 de Moor, J.M.; Aiuppa, A.; Pacheco, J.; Avard, G.; Kern, C.; Liuzzo, M.; Martinez, M.; Giudice, G. et al. (2016). "Short-period volcanic gas precursors to phreatic eruptions: Insights from Poás Volcano, Costa Rica" (in en). Earth and Planetary Science Letters 442: 218–227. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2016.02.056. ISSN 0012-821X. Bibcode2016E&PSL.442..218D. 
  8. Aiuppa, A.; Shinohara, H.; Tamburello, G.; Giudice, G.; Liuzzo, M.; Moretti, R. (2011). "Hydrogen in the gas plume of an open-vent volcano, Mount Etna, Italy" (in en). Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 116 (B10): B10204. doi:10.1029/2011JB008461. ISSN 2156-2202. Bibcode2011JGRB..11610204A. 
  9. Roberts, T. J.; Lurton, T.; Giudice, G.; Liuzzo, M.; Aiuppa, A.; Coltelli, M.; Vignelles, D.; Salerno, G. et al. (2017). "Validation of a novel Multi-Gas sensor for volcanic HCl alongside H2S and SO2 at Mt. Etna" (in en). Bulletin of Volcanology 79 (5): 36. doi:10.1007/s00445-017-1114-z. ISSN 1432-0819. PMID 32025075. Bibcode2017BVol...79...36R. 
  10. Woitischek, Julia; Woods, Andrew W.; Edmonds, Marie; Oppenheimer, Clive; Aiuppa, Alessandro; Pering, Tom D.; Ilanko, Tehnuka; D'Aleo, Roberto et al. (2020). "Strombolian eruptions and dynamics of magma degassing at Yasur Volcano (Vanuatu)" (in en). Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 398: 106869. doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2020.106869. ISSN 0377-0273. Bibcode2020JVGR..39806869W. 
  11. Lages, J.; Chacón, Z.; Burbano, V.; Meza, L.; Arellano, S.; Liuzzo, M.; Giudice, G.; Aiuppa, A. et al. (2019). "Volcanic Gas Emissions Along the Colombian Arc Segment of the Northern Volcanic Zone (CAS-NVZ): Implications for volcano monitoring and volatile budget of the Andean Volcanic Belt" (in en). Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 20 (11): 5057–5081. doi:10.1029/2019GC008573. ISSN 1525-2027. Bibcode2019GGG....20.5057L. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 Lewicki, J. L.; Kelly, P. J.; Bergfeld, D.; Vaughan, R. G.; Lowenstern, J. B. (2017). "Monitoring gas and heat emissions at Norris Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, USA based on a combined eddy covariance and Multi-GAS approach" (in en). Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 347: 312–326. doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2017.10.001. ISSN 0377-0273. Bibcode2017JVGR..347..312L. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Moor, J. Maarten de; Aiuppa, A.; Avard, G.; Wehrmann, H.; Dunbar, N.; Muller, C.; Tamburello, G.; Giudice, G. et al. (2016). "Turmoil at Turrialba Volcano (Costa Rica): Degassing and eruptive processes inferred from high-frequency gas monitoring" (in en). Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 121 (8): 5761–5775. doi:10.1002/2016JB013150. ISSN 2169-9356. PMID 27774371. Bibcode2016JGRB..121.5761D. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 Napoli, Rossella Di; Aiuppa, Alessandro; Allard, Patrick (2014). "First Multi-GAS based characterisation of the Boiling Lake volcanic gas (Dominica, Lesser Antilles)" (in en). Annals of Geophysics 56 (5): 0559. doi:10.4401/ag-6277. ISSN 2037-416X. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Volcanic Gas Monitoring at Mount St. Helens". 
  16. Aiuppa, Alessandro; Federico, Cinzia; Giudice, Gaetano; Giuffrida, Giovanni; Guida, Roberto; Gurrieri, Sergio; Liuzzo, Marco; Moretti, Roberto et al. (2009). "The 2007 eruption of Stromboli volcano: Insights from real-time measurement of the volcanic gas plume CO2/SO2 ratio" (in en). Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. The 2007 Eruption of Stromboli 182 (3): 221–230. doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2008.09.013. ISSN 0377-0273. Bibcode2009JVGR..182..221A. 
  17. Aiuppa, A.; Bagnato, E.; Witt, M. L. I.; Mather, T. A.; Parello, F.; Pyle, D. M.; Martin, R. S. (2007). "Real-time simultaneous detection of volcanic Hg and SO2 at La Fossa Crater, Vulcano (Aeolian Islands, Sicily)" (in en). Geophysical Research Letters 34 (21): L21307. doi:10.1029/2007GL030762. ISSN 1944-8007. Bibcode2007GeoRL..3421307A. 
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  19. Shinohara, Hiroshi; Geshi, Nobuo; Matsushima, Nobuo; Saito, Genji; Kazahaya, Ryunosuke (2017). "Volcanic gas composition changes during the gradual decrease of the gigantic degassing activity of Miyakejima volcano, Japan, 2000-2015" (in en). Bulletin of Volcanology 79 (2): 21. doi:10.1007/s00445-017-1105-0. ISSN 1432-0819. Bibcode2017BVol...79...21S. 
  20. Shinohara, Hiroshi; Ohminato, Takao; Takeo, Minoru; Tsuji, Hiroshi; Kazahaya, Ryunosuke (2015). "Monitoring of volcanic gas composition at Asama volcano, Japan, during 2004–2014" (in en). Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 303: 199–208. doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2015.07.022. ISSN 0377-0273. Bibcode2015JVGR..303..199S. 
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  22. Witt, M. L. I.; Mather, T. A.; Pyle, D. M.; Aiuppa, A.; Bagnato, E.; Tsanev, V. I. (2008). "Mercury and halogen emissions from Masaya and Telica volcanoes, Nicaragua" (in en). Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 113 (B6): B06203. doi:10.1029/2007JB005401. ISSN 2156-2202. Bibcode2008JGRB..113.6203W. 
  23. Christopher, Thomas; Edmonds, Marie; Humphreys, Madeleine C. S.; Herd, Richard A. (2010). "Volcanic gas emissions from Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat 1995–2009, with implications for mafic magma supply and degassing" (in en). Geophysical Research Letters 37 (19): n/a. doi:10.1029/2009GL041325. ISSN 1944-8007. Bibcode2010GeoRL..37.0E04C. 
  24. Bobrowski, N.; Giuffrida, G. B.; Yalire, M.; Lübcke, P.; Arellano, S.; Balagizi, C.; Calabrese, S.; Galle, B. et al. (2017). "Multi-component gas emission measurements of the active lava lake of Nyiragongo, DR Congo" (in en). Journal of African Earth Sciences 134: 856–865. doi:10.1016/j.jafrearsci.2016.07.010. ISSN 1464-343X. Bibcode2017JAfES.134..856B. 
  25. "Fischer, T. P. (2013), DEep CArbon DEgassing: The Deep Carbon Observatory DECADE Initiative, Mineralogical Magazine, 77(5), 1089". 

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