Observation of Volcanic SO2

Science Background and Motivation

Sulfur dioxide (SO2) is emitted into the atmosphere by both human activity, as well as naturally occuring phenomena, such as volcanos. The Ticosonde site in San Jose has the good fortune to be located downstream of the active volcano Turrialba. Our motivation is to take advantage of the same principles we use to measure ozone to also obtain measurements of SO2 occuring from Turrialba's eruptions. The regular appearance of SO2 plumes overhead from Turrialba are measured using our inexpensive sonding techniques; this provides us an excellent opportunity to assist in the validation of remote SO2 retrievals.


Validation of OMI SO2 retrieval

Tropospheric column derived SO2 from our dual sonde technique is 1.7 DU (left) and is in excellent agreement with OMI PCA retrieval for lower troposphere peak (right).

OMI TRL Composites vs. Sondes

Shown above is the mean OMI TRL column for a 50-km radius around the sonde site (black), SO2 columns from dual sondes since 2012 (blue), and SO2 columns inferred from routine ECC ozonesondes (red).

Papers and Presentations

Profiling the SO2 Plume from Volcan Turrialba: Ticosonde Balloon Measurements Compared with OMI and OMPS Retrievals