Home Latest Research Observation of Baurdarbunga volcano activity over Obninsk, Russia

Observation of Baurdarbunga volcano activity over Obninsk, Russia

01.8.2015, by Guest Writer

During the last decade several volcanoes, located in Iceland, have demonstrated remarkable activity and have perturbed the European community because huge amounts of volcano product components, including dust and sulfur-bearing chemicals, have been released during these processes. A map of volcanoes in Iceland is presented on Figure 1.

Baurdarbunga volcano activity

Article by N.V. Tereb and V.V. Shirotov of the The Institute of Experimental Meteorology (IEM), Obninsk, Russia.

Baurdarbunga is an ice covered volcano located in south-east Iceland (64.64°N, 17.56°W). This volcano has been inactive since 1910, and its last large eruption took place in 1477. But on 23 August 2014 it started to demonstrate new activity, as shown in the picture above.

Fig. 1. Volcanoes in Iceland location

Figure 1 Volcanoes in Iceland

We guessed that we would be able to detect Baurdarbunga volcano activity by measuring the total column amount of SO2 – which is one of the main volcano product components.

Our data were obtained at the ozone  station “Obninsk” (55.1°N, 36.6 °E) (“ОBN” in GAW system, #307 in WOUDC) by using Brewer spectrophotometer #044, which data were treated with the O3Brewer program (developer M.Stanek).

The daily behaviour of SO2 (yellow) and О3 (red) total column amounts during 17, 18, and 19 of September 2014 is presented in Figures 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3. Here one can obviously see rather smooth behaviour of О3 total column amount over the whole period and similar  behaviour of SO2 total column amount during 17 and 19 of September. However on 18 of September one can see morning (6:30 GMT) and evening (12:30 GMT) spikes up to 3 and 2.7 D.U. respectively in SO2 total column amount.

Fig. 2.1. Daily behavior of SO2 (yellow) and О3 (red) total column amount  during 17 September 2014

Figure 2.1 Daily behaviour of SO2 (yellow) and О3 (red) total column amount during 17 September 2014

 

Fig. 2.1. Daily behavior of SO2 (yellow) and О3 (red) total column amount  during 17 September 2014

Figure 2.2 Daily behaviour of SO2 (yellow) and О3 (red) total column amount during 18 September 2014

 

 Daily behavior of SO2 and О3

Figure 2.3 Daily behaviour of SO2 (yellow) and О3 (red) total column amount during 19 of September 2014

 

We consider these observations as a proof of the fact that SO2 clouds were passing over the Obninsk meteorological station. Were those spikes in SO2 total column amount behaviour artificial, due to a device malfunction, they had to be accompanied by negative spikes in О3 total column amount which have not been observed.

We are grateful to NASA, and N. Krotkov personally, who delivered the picture presented in Figure 3, which has been made on 18 September 2014. It shows SO2 clouds observed from space by the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI), which have been released during Baurdarbunga volcano activity, superimposed on a MODIS satellite image. A red arrow points to the small SO2 cloud, which, as we guessed, has been detected at Obninsk.

According to the authors knowledge,the presented results can be considered as the first volcano activity registration using ground-based optical measurements with a Brewer spectrophotometer at such a large distance of about 3000 km.

 Fig. 3. SO2 clouds, released during Baurdarbunga volcano activity and detected by OMI

Figure 3 SO2 clouds, released during Baurdarbunga volcano activity and detected by OMI

About IEM

The Institute of Experimental Meteorology (IEM) is situated in Obninsk, about 105 km to the South-West from Moscow. The scope of the investigations of IEM is:

  • Physics of the atmospheric boundary layer and troposphere;
  • Physics of the upper atmosphere, ionosphere and adjacent space, development of methods of their investigation with the use of rocket technologies, including rocket studies and experiments at the stations of rocket soundings of the atmosphere;
  • Physics of cloud media, search for methods and means for clouds, fogs, frosts and other hazardous meteorological phenomena modification;
  • Physics of tropospheric and stratospheric aerosol, processes of transport and transformation;
  • Atmospheric optics, optical methods of diagnostics and investigation of the atmosphere, clouds and underlying surface;
  • Propagation of electromagnetic radiation in the atmosphere;
  • Tropical meteorology (cyclones, typhoons, hurricanes).

About the authors

Nick  Tereb– graduated the Perm University (physical department) in 1971, PhD since 1981. He has been making Ozone measurements using the Brewer spectrophotometer since 2008.

Vadim Shirotov – graduated Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology in 1997, PhD since 2005. He has been making Ozone measurements using the Brewer spectrophotometer since 2012.

Brewer Calibration Team - IEM - Obninsk

Team picture during a calibration of Russian Brewer spectrophotometers in September 2012, Obninsk. Right to left: first is N. Tereb, third is V. Shirotov.

Linked Brewer
Brewer 044, Obninsk, Russia

The ozonometric station “Obninsk” during a calibration campaign in 2012. First from the right is Brewer MkII #044 with mobile standard Brewer  #017 mounted above. The…

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