First detection of Bromine Monoxide in a volcanic plume using MAX-DOAS measurements

Mathematics – Logic

Scientific paper

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Scientific paper

Bromine Monoxide (BrO) radicals were measured by optical absorption spectroscopy in the plume of Soufrigrave{e}re Hills Volcano on Montserrat during a field study in May 2002. A newly designed small and portable Mini-MAX-DOAS instrument with low power consumption was applied for the ground based measurements. Scattered sunlight is received using a single telescope. The pointing direction of the telescope was changed by a stepper motor. Thus the plume could be scanned because the light could be received from different viewing angles represents different cross sections of the plume. A cooling system was added to the Mini-MAX-DOAS which made it possible to measure BrO for the first time in a volcanic plume. Also SO_2 emissions were simultaneously recorded by the same instrument. Slant column densities (SCD) of up to 2\cdot1015 molecules/cm^2 for BrO and 1.75\cdot1018 molecules/cm^2 for SO_2 were observed, respectively. BrO and SO_2 concentrations were well correlated. From the MAX-DOAS scans across the plume it was also possible to derive the approximate dimensions of the volcanic plume. From the slant column densities and the diameter, concentrations and mixing ratios were estimated. Peak values reached 1 ppb for BrO and 1 ppm for SO_2, respectively. Using meteorological data source strengths for bromine and sulfur were calculated.

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