Total (fumarolic + diffuse soil) CO2 output from Furnas volcano

Research paper by M. Pedone, F. Viveiros, A. Aiuppa, G. Giudice, F. Grassa, A. L. Gagliano, V. Francofonte, T. Ferreira

Indexed on: 26 Oct '15Published on: 26 Oct '15Published in: Earth, Planets and Space


Furnas volcano, in São Miguel island (Azores), being the surface expression of rising hydrothermal steam, is the site of intense carbon dioxide (CO2) release by diffuse degassing and fumaroles. While the diffusive CO2 output has long (since the early 1990s) been characterized by soil CO2 surveys, no information is presently available on the fumarolic CO2 output. Here, we performed (in August 2014) a study in which soil CO2 degassing survey was combined for the first time with the measurement of the fumarolic CO2 flux. The results were achieved by using a GasFinder 2.0 tunable diode laser. Our measurements were performed in two degassing sites at Furnas volcano (Furnas Lake and Furnas Village), with the aim of quantifying the total (fumarolic + soil diffuse) CO2 output. We show that, within the main degassing (fumarolic) areas, the soil CO2 flux contribution (9.2 t day−1) represents a minor (~15 %) fraction of the total CO2 output (59 t day−1), which is dominated by the fumaroles (~50 t day−1). The same fumaroles contribute to ~0.25 t day−1 of H2S, based on a fumarole CO2/H2S ratio of 150 to 353 (measured with a portable Multi-GAS). However, we also find that the soil CO2 contribution from a more distal wider degassing structure dominates the total Furnas volcano CO2 budget, which we evaluate (summing up the CO2 flux contributions for degassing soils, fumarolic emissions and springs) at ~1030 t day−1.