Thumbnail Image

Automatic retrieval of volcanic SO2 emission source from TROPOMI products

Markus, Balazs; Valade, Sébastien; Wöllhaf, Manuel; Hellwich, Olaf

Volcanic sulfur dioxide (SO2) satellite observations are key for monitoring volcanic activity, and for mitigation of the associated risks on both human health and aviation safety. Automatic analysis of this data source, including robust source emission retrieval, is in turn essential for near real-time monitoring applications. We have developed fast and accurate SO2 plume classifier and segmentation algorithms using classic clustering, segmentation and image processing techniques. These algorithms, applied to measurements from the TROPOMI instrument onboard the Sentinel-5 Precursor platform, can help in the accurate source estimation of volcanic SO2 plumes originating from various volcanoes. In this paper, we demonstrate the ability of different pixel classification methodologies to retrieve SO2 source emission with a good accuracy. We compare the algorithms, their strengths and shortcomings, and present plume classification results for various active volcanoes throughout the year 2021, including examples from Etna (Italy), Sangay and Reventador (Ecuador), Sabancaya and Ubinas (Peru), Scheveluch and Klyuchevskoy (Russia), as well as Ibu and Dukono (Indonesia). The developed algorithms, shared as open-source code, contribute to improving analysis and monitoring of volcanic emissions from space.
Published in: Frontiers in Earth Science, 10.3389/feart.2022.1064171, Frontiers