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Space- and ground-based measurements of sulphur dioxide emissions from Turrialba Volcano (Costa Rica)

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Remotely sensed measurements of sulphur dioxide (SO2) emitted by Turrialba Volcano (Costa Rica) are reported for the period September 2009–January 2011. These measurements were obtained using images from Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflexion radiometer, Ozone Monitoring Instrument and a ground-based UV camera. These three very different instruments provide flux measurements in good agreement with each other, which demonstrate that they can be integrated for monitoring SO2 fluxes. Fluxes from Turrialba increased fourfold in January 2010, following a phreatic explosion that formed a degassing vent in the W crater of Turrialba. Since then, the SO2 flux has remained high (30–50 kg/s) but seems to be showing a slowly decreasing trend. We interpret this evolution as the start of open vent degassing from a recently intruded magma body. The opening of the degassing vent decreased the confining pressure of the magma body and allowed the gases to bypass the hydrothermal system.

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We thank Dave Pieri for programming ASTER acquisitions of Turrialba during the reported period. R.C. was supported by a grant from FRIA (Fond pour la Recherche Industrielle et Appliquée) and by the VOCATIO foundation, and would like to thank Pierre Quiqueré and Benjamin Morin for their support in the field. Alessandro Aiuppa and two anonymous referees are thanked for their constructive and thorough review and suggestions.

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Correspondence to Robin Campion.

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Campion, R., Martinez-Cruz, M., Lecocq, T. et al. Space- and ground-based measurements of sulphur dioxide emissions from Turrialba Volcano (Costa Rica). Bull Volcanol 74, 1757–1770 (2012).

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