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Authors: Sawyer, G. M.* 
Carn, S. A.* 
Tsanev, V. I.* 
Oppenheimer, C.* 
Burton, M.* 
Title: Investigation into magma degassing at Nyiragongo volcano, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Journal: Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems 
Series/Report no.: 2/9 (2008)
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Issue Date: 28-Feb-2008
DOI: 10.1029/2007GC001829
Keywords: Nyiragongo
volcanic gas emissions
remote sensing
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.01. Gases 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.06. Volcano monitoring 
Abstract: We report the first combined measurements of the composition and flux of gas emitted from Nyiragongo volcano by ground-based remote-sensing techniques. Ultraviolet spectroscopic measurements made in May/June 2005 and January 2006 indicate average SO2 emission rates of 38 kg s−1 and 23 kg s−1, respectively. Open-path Fourier transform infrared spectroscopic measurements obtained in May/June 2005, January 2006, and June 2007 indicate average molar proportions of 70, 24, 4.6, 0.87, 0.26, 0.11, and 0.0016% for H2O, CO2, SO2, CO, HCl, HF, and OCS, respectively. The composition of the plume was remarkably similar in 2005, 2006, and 2007, with little temporal variation in proportions of CO2, SO2, and CO, in particular, on the scale of seconds or days or even between the three field campaigns that span a period of 24 months. This stability persisted despite a wide range of degassing behaviors on the surface of the summit crater's lava lake (including discrete strombolian bursts and lava fountains) and variations in the SO2 emission rate. We explain these observations by a regime of steady state degassing in which bubbles nucleate and ascend in chemical equilibrium with the convecting magma. Short-term (seconds to minutes) temporal fluctuations in the SO2–HCl–HF composition were observed, and these are attributed to shallow degassing processes.
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