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Evaluation of sulfur dioxide emissions from explosive volcanism: the 1982-1983 eruptions of Galunggung, Java, Indonesia

G.J.S. Bluth, T.J. Casadevall, C.C. Schnetzler, S.D. Doiron, L.S. Walter, A.J. Krueger, M. Badruddin

Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research (1994), v. 63, 243-256


Abstract. Galunggung volcano, Java, awoke from a 63-year quiescence in April 1982, and erupted sporadically through January 1983. During its most violent period from April to October, the Cikasasah Volcano Observatory reported 32 large and 56 moderate to small eruptions. From April 5 through September 19 the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS), carried on NASA's Nimbus-7 satellite, detected and measured 24 different sulfur dioxide clouds; an estimated 1730 kilotons (kt) of SO2 were outgassed by these explosive eruptions. The trajectories, and rapid dispersion rates, of the SO2 clouds were consistent with injection altitudes below the tropopause. An additional 300 kt of SO2 were estimated to have come from 64 smaller explosive eruptions, based on the detection limit of the TOMS instrument.

For the first time, an extended period of volcanic activity was monitored by remote sensing techniques which enabled observations of both the entire SO2 clouds produced by large explosive eruptions (using TOMS), and the relatively lower levels of SO2 emissions during non-explosive outgassing (using the Correlation Spectrometer, or COSPEC). Based on COSPEC measurements from August 1982 to January 1983, and on the relationship between explosive and non-explosive degassing, approximately 400 kt of SO2 were emitted during non-explosive activity. The total sulfur dioxide outgassed from Galunggung volcano from April 1982 to January 1983 is calculated to be 2500 kt (±30%) from both explosive and non-explosive activity. While Galunggung added large quantities of sulfur dioxide to the atmosphere, its sporadic emissions occurred in relatively small events distributed over several months, and reached relatively low altitudes, and are unlikely to have significantly affected aerosol loading of the stratosphere in 1982 by volcanic activity.