SO2 emissions at Semeru volcano, Indonesia: Characterization and quantification of persistent and periodic explosive activity

Jean François Smekens, Amanda Clarke, Michael R. Burton, Agung Harijoko, Haryo E. Wibowo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present the first measurements of SO2 emissions at Semeru volcano, Indonesia, using an SO2 camera. Activity at Semeru is characterized by quiescent degassing interspersed with short-lived explosive events with low ash burden. The interval between explosions was measured at 32.1±15.7min in a webcam survey of the volcano between the months of June and December 2013. We distinguish between two types of events: shorter events (type I: ~5min duration) with emissions returning quickly to baseline levels, and longer events (type II: ~15min duration) often showing multiple pulses and a longer period of increased emissions before a return to quiescent levels. Type I events represent >90% of the activity and release an average of 200-500kg of SO2 per event. The single type II event we documented with the SO2 camera released a total of 1460kg of SO2. We estimate the daily average emissions of Semeru to be 21-71t d-1 of SO2, amounting to a yearly output of 8-26Gg (8000-26,000metric tons), with 35-65% released during explosive events. The time series patterns of degassing are consistent with the existence of a viscous plug at the top of the conduit, which seals the conduit immediately prior to explosive events, causing pressurization of the underlying magma followed by a sudden release of gas and fragmented magma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-128
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Volume300
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 12 2014

Keywords

  • Indonesian volcanoes
  • Periodic explosions
  • Semeru
  • SO emissions
  • Volcanic degassing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics

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