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Publication - Dr Matthew Watson

    Initial constraints on triggering mechanisms of the eruption of Fuego volcano (Guatemala) from 3 June 2018 using IASI satellite data

    Citation

    Pardini, F, Quessier, M, Naismith, A, Watson, M, Clarisse, L & Burton, M, 2019, ‘Initial constraints on triggering mechanisms of the eruption of Fuego volcano (Guatemala) from 3 June 2018 using IASI satellite data’. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, vol 376., pp. 54-61

    Abstract


    On 3 June 2018 Volcán de Fuego (Guatemala) erupted explosively with unusual intensity, producing wide-spread ash dispersal and pyroclastic flows of >11 km length, which destroyed a community on Fuego's flanks, causing hundreds of fatalities. Here, we analyze satellite measurements of the SO
    2
    plume emitted during the most intense eruptive phase. Key eruption parameters including the injection height and SO
    2
    flux time-series indicate a degassing intensity at least three orders of magnitude above baseline levels. Our results suggest a steady ~2.5 hour climactic paroxysmal phase of the eruption with a mass eruption rate of ~1.4kg s
    −1
    based on the combination of plume height estimates and an eruption column model, producing 0.03 ± 0.004 km
    3
    of tephra. We detect at least 130 kt of emitted SO
    2
    from satellite images, producing a minimum dissolved magmatic sulfur concentration of 500 ppm. Possible source mechanisms are discussed, which may be useful in assessing the risks posed by future large-magnitude eruptions to the large populations that live on Fuego's flanks. This study shows that even under challenging conditions of a tropical atmosphere during the rainy season, vital eruption parameters to constrain source mechanisms of eruptions can be retrieved from satellite remote sensing data.

    Full details in the University publications repository