TERRAPUB Earth, Planets and Space

Earth Planets Space, Vol. 65 (No. 6), pp. 667-675, 2013

Composition of volcanic gases emitted during repeating Vulcanian eruption stage of Shinmoedake, Kirishima volcano, Japan

H. Shinohara

Geological Survey of Japan, AIST, Central 7, 1-1-1 Higashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8567, Japan

(Received August 15, 2012; Revised November 13, 2012; Accepted November 14, 2012; Online published July 8, 2013)

Abstract: Volcanic gas compositions of Shinmoedake, Kirishima volcano, Japan were measured by Multi-GAS during the persistent degassing period with repeating Vulcanian eruptions from March 2011 to March 2012. In order to avoid risks due to eruptions, the measurements were performed with the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) that fly through the plume with the Multi-GAS and by an automatic Multi-GAS monitoring station installed 5 km away from the summit. Based on the UAV measurements on May 18, 2011, most of the major volcanic gas components were quantified as CO2/SO2 = 8, SO2/H2S = 0.8, H2O/CO2 = 70 and H2/SO2 = 0.03 (mol ratio), and the SO2/H2S ratio of the plume was quantified as 8 on March 15, 2011. The Multi-GAS monitoring station occasionally detected a dilute plume with an SO2/H2S ratio ranging from 0.8 to 3.3 from April 2011 to March 2012. The decrease of the SO2/H2S ratio from March 15, 2011, to May 18, 2011, is interpreted as the result of a ten times increase of the degassing pressure. Based on the SO2 fluxes and the gas compositions, the conduit magma convection is considered to be the gas supply mechanism at the Shinmoedake, and the degassing pressure changes are attributed to the change of depth of the convecting magma column top.
Key words: Volcanic gas composition, Multi-GAS, Shinmoedake, UAV, magma convection, Kirishima volcano, degassing.

Corresponding author E-mail: shinohara-h@aist.go.jp

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