Volcanic Monitoring

Safeguarding human lives

One billion people currently live within 150 kilometers of active volcanoes. To safeguard human lives and prevent damage to infrastructure, such as supply chains, these people need ample warning when an eruption is imminent. Monitoring the flux of volatile species, like He, CO2, CO, SO2, H2S and HCl, which are emitted by volcanoes, can help provide clues as to when an eruption might occur. Not only is it important to measure the amount of those gases, but their isotope composition is also an important parameter.

Volcanic gases

Noble gases are relatively rare elements on Earth and in most cases, their concentrations within samples is extremely low. As a result, isotope ratio analysis of these gases requires a high detection efficiency such as found with ultra-high vacuum mass spectrometers coupled to extremely sensitive detectors.

In this technical note, we present a comparison of our newly developed 1013 Ω Amplifiers and the current state-of-the-art 1012 Ω amplifier technology for the analysis of 40Ar/36Ar.

Featured technology for volcano monitoring

Isotope Ratio Spectrometry

The Thermo Scientific™ Isotope Ratio Spectrometers can measure the isotope composition of the emitting CO2 from the Earth's crust and provide you with CO2 data, which can be another important indicator of impending volcanic activity.

The Thermo Scientific Helix SFT Noble Gas mass spectrometer makes highly precise measurements of helium isotopes. 3He/4He ratios within volcanic gases increase shortly before an eruption.

Featured video about volcano monitoring