Soil gas measurements as an indicator of volcanic activity at Popocatépetl, México

Varley, N.R. and Armienta, M.A. (1999) Soil gas measurements as an indicator of volcanic activity at Popocatépetl, México. Il nuovo cimento C, 22 C (3-4). pp. 269-274. ISSN 1826-9885

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It is well known that anomalously high levels of soil gases such as radon, carbon dioxide and helium can be measured over faults or fractures. This type of measurement is a useful tool to determine the structure of many types of geological environment, including volcanic edifices. It is important that other controlling factors are considered, principally changes in the meteorological conditions, since they can have a strong influence on the concentrations measured. In the case of volcanoes, additional information can be obtained on mass gas movement and magmatic resurgence. A temporal variation in the concentration of soil gases has been observed as a precursor to both earthquakes and volcanic activity. However, few long-term studies have been carried out. In the case of volcanoes, measurements are taken at a distance from the active crater, making it a much less hazardous form of monitoring than the direct sampling of fumaroles. Recently Popocatépetl has commenced a new active phase with several explosive events producing ash falls at large distances from the volcano. Measurements of SO2 and CO2 flux have shown a large variation. For a better understanding of the processes occurring within the volcano, as well as its structure, further data of different types is required. This study will include an extensive program of soil gas measurements, including radon, carbon dioxide, methane and helium. A comparison will be made with seismic and groundwater and ash geochemical data. One goal will be an improved understanding of the mechanism whereby seismic events influence the concentration of soil gases, which is not currently well understood. Here the preliminary results are presented.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Paper presented at the “Fourth International Conference on Rare Gas Geochemistry”, Rome, October 8-10, 1997.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Interactions between exterior sources and interior properties; volcanology; volcano seismology; conference proceedings
Subjects: 500 Scienze naturali e Matematica > 550 Scienze della Terra
Depositing User: Marina Spanti
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2019 06:53
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2019 06:53

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