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Authors: La Spina, A.* 
Burton, M. R.* 
Harig, R.* 
Mure, F.* 
Rausch, P.* 
Jordan, M.* 
Caltabiano, T.* 
Title: New insights into volcanic processes at Stromboli from Cerberus, a remote-controlled open-path FTIR scanner system
Issue Date: 2013
Series/Report no.: /249 (2013)
DOI: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2012.09.004
Keywords: OP-FTIR scanning system
Stromboli Volcano
Explosive activity
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.01. Gases 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.07. Instruments and techniques 
Abstract: The ordinary, low intensity, activity of Stromboli volcano is sporadically interrupted by more energetic events termed, depending on their intensity, “major explosions” and “paroxysms”. These short-lived energetic episodes represent a potential risk to visitors to the highly accessible summit of Stromboli. Observations made at Stromboli over the last decade have shown that the composition of gas emitted from the summit craters may change prior to such explosions, allowing the possibility that such changes may be used to forecast these potentially dangerous events. In 2008 we installed a novel, remote-controlled, open-path FTIR scanning system called Cerberus at the summit of Stromboli, with the objective of measuring gas compositions from individual vents within the summit crater terrace of the volcano with high temporal resolution and for extended periods. In this work we report the first results from the Cerberus system, collected in August-September 2009, November 2009 and May-June 2010. We find significant, fairly consistent, intra-crater variability for CO2/SO2 and H2O/CO2 ratios, and relatively homogeneous SO2/HCl ratios. In general, the southwest crater is richest in CO2, and the northeast crater poorest, while the central crater is richest in H2O. It thus appears that during the measurement period the southwest crater had a somewhat more direct connection to a primary, deep degassing system; whilst the central and northeast craters reflect a slightly more secondary degassing nature, with a supplementary, shallow H2O source for the central crater, probably related to puffing activity. Such water-rich emissions from the central crater can account for the lower crystal content of its eruption products, and emphasise the role of continual magma supply to the shallowest levels of Stromboli's plumbing system. Our observations of heterogeneous crater gas emissions and high H2O/CO2 ratios do not agree with models of CO2-flushing, and we show that simple depressurisation during magma ascent to the surface is a more likely model for H2O loss at Stromboli. We highlight that alternative explanations other than CO2 flushing are required to explain distributions of H2O and CO2 amounts dissolved in melt inclusions. We detected fairly systematic increases in CO2/SO2 ratio some weeks prior to major explosions, and some evidence of a decrease in this ratio in the days immediately preceding the explosions, with periods of low, stable CO2/SO2 ratios between explosions otherwise. Our measurements, therefore, confirm the medium term (~ weeks) precursory increases previously observed with MultiGas instruments, and, in addition, reveal new, short-term precursory decreases in CO2/SO2 ratios. immediately prior to the major explosions. Such patterns, if shown to be systematic, may be of great utility for hazard management at Stromboli's summit. Our results suggest that intra-crater CO2/SO2 variability may produce short-term peaks and troughs in CO2/SO2 time series measured with in-situ MultiGas instruments, due simply to variations in wind direction.
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