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Authors: Vita, Fabio* 
Schiavo, Benedetto* 
Inguaggiato, Claudio* 
Inguaggiato, Salvatore* 
Mazot, Agnes* 
Title: Environmental and Volcanic Implications of Volatile Output in the Atmosphere of Vulcano Island Detected Using SO2 Plume (2021–23)
Journal: Remote Sensing 
Series/Report no.: 15
Publisher: MDPI
Issue Date: 13-Jun-2023
DOI: 10.3390/rs15123086
Keywords: SO2 output
Soil CO2 fluxes
Air pollutant
Vulcano Island
Geochemical crisis
Summit degassing
SO2 map dispersion
Extensive parameters
Subject Classification04.08. Volcanology 
Abstract: The volatiles released by the volcanic structures of the world contribute to natural environmental pollution both during the passive and active degassing stages. The Island of Vulcano is characterized by solfataric degassing mainly localized in the summit part (Fossa crater) and in the peripheral part in the Levante Bay. The normal solfataric degassing (high-temperature fumarolic area of the summit and boiling fluids emitted in the Levante Bay area), established after the last explosive eruption of 1888–90, is periodically interrupted by geochemical crises characterized by anomalous degassing that are attributable to increased volcanic inputs, which determine a sharp increase in the degassing rate. In this work, we have used the data acquired from the INGV (Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia) geochemical monitoring networks to identify, evaluate, and monitor the geochemical variations of the extensive parameters, such as the SO2 flux from the volcanic plume (solfataric cloud) and the CO2 flux from the soil in the summit area outside the fumaroles areas. The increase in the flux of volatiles started in June–July 2021 and reached its maximum in November of the same year. In particular, the mean monthly flux of SO2 plume of 22 tons day−1 (t d−1) and of CO2 from the soil of 1570 grams per square meter per day (g m2 d −1) increased during this event up to 89 t d−1 and 11,596 g m2 d −1, respectively, in November 2021. The average annual baseline value of SO2 output was estimated at 7700 t d−1 during normal solfataric activity. Instead, this outgassing increased to 18,000 and 24,000 t d−1 in 2021 and 2022, respectively, indicating that the system is still in an anomalous phase of outgassing and shows no signs of returning to the pre-crisis baseline values. In fact, in the first quarter of 2023, the SO2 output shows average values comparable to those emitted in 2022. Finally, the dispersion maps of SO2 on the island of Vulcano have been produced and have indicated that the areas close to the fumarolic source are characterized by concentrations of SO2 in the atmosphere higher than those permitted by European legislation (40 µg m−3 for 24 h of exposition) on human health.
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