January 20, 2022 4:38 pm

Sulfur dioxide from the La Palma volcano reaches the Peninsula without impacting air quality

The volcanic eruption on the canary island of The Palm is emitting a high amount of sulfur dioxide (SO2) to the atmosphere that will arrive this Friday to cover a good part of the peninsula Iberian, almost everything Morocco and Tunisia and the Mediterranean coasts of France, Italy, Algeria and Libya, reported this Wednesday the European satellite system Copernicus.

The SO2 gas emitted by the volcano will arrive this Friday to cover a good part of the Iberian Peninsula, almost all of Morocco and Tunisia and the Mediterranean coasts of France, Italy, Algeria and Libya

A photo shared on the satellite’s Twitter account shows the presence of sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere scheduled for next Friday 24th September in the morning, when the highest levels will be recorded on the Moroccan Atlantic coast, the Spanish Mediterranean coast, southern Sardinia, northern Sicily and the Tunisian coast.

Forecast of the presence of sulfur oxide in the atmosphere for Friday 24. / Copernicus / Windy

To a lesser extent, the map also highlights the presence of this substance in half It is from Spain (including cities like Valladolid), the on from France, the West Coast Italian, Corsica and all the african mediterranean coast, in addition to wide tracts of land within the Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya.

The European Union (EU) activated its Copernicus satellite system on Monday to follow the volcanic eruption on the Canary Island of La Palma, and the European Commission is already in contact with the Spanish authorities to offer additional support.

Surveillance from space

The main data is being provided Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-5P. They are satellites specially designed for earth observation and improve the work of prevention, monitoring and protection of the population and resources in cases of natural disasters and emergencies like this one.

The first sulfur dioxide measurements from the Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service (CAMS) they were carried out one day after the eruption, on September 20.

The impact of the sulfur dioxide generated by the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the quality of the atmosphere will be very small.

Mark Parrington (ECMWF)

“In many cases, the presence of SO2 it is used to estimate the extent and extent of the volcanic plume, and our forecasts can help to assess the possible impacts of an eruption such as the one on La Palma ”, he explains Mark Parrington, CAMS scientist.

Starting from a plume height of 5 km, estimates indicate that the impacts of sulfur dioxide emitted by the Cumbre Vieja volcano on weather and air quality “are probably very small”, the researcher emphasizes, adding: “Most of this gas is found much higher in the atmosphere, especially as you move away from the source, and it could be visible as a slight haze in the sky.”

The information that the European satellites are providing is being critical to implement the actions of the Spanish civil protection services.

The Copernicus space program or Copernicus is a joint initiative of the European Union and the THIS —Responsible for its space component— and in this case the surveillance services of the territory and the atmosphere are being used.

The services of the territory provide cartography periodically and through them the data obtained is monitored to know the surface deformation terrestrial or the state of the roads; and atmosphere services provide information on the emissions that are being produced because of the eruption, such as sulfur dioxide.

Source: SINC

Rights: Creative Commons.


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