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Volcanic gas measurements by helicopter-borne Fourier transform spectroscopy

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We present here preliminary observations of gas emissions from Soufriere Hills volcano, Montserrat, obtained with a Fourier transform infrared spectrometer mounted on a helicopter. The data were collected in August 1996, using the active lava dome in the volcano's summit crater as a source of infrared energy. Despite difficulties in making gas retrievals due to poor signal noise ratios and movement of the instrumental field of view across an inhomogeneous source, we are able to constrain HCl/SO ratios in syneruptive gas emissions to be 14, 2 indicative of uncommonly chlorine-rich degassing. Spectral data were acquired in periods of less than 10 minutes on each of two flights; the methodology therefore offers the advantage of rapid remote geochemical surveillance under hazardous conditions.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 20 January 1998

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