Volcano Monitoring

Studying volcanic emissions may enable volcanologists to better predict volcanic patterns and eruptions. For example, changes in the carbon isotopic composition of magmatic CO2 are correlated with the depth of the origin of CO2. Gas from lower depth appears usually several weeks before seismic activity or eruptions occur. The continuous high frequency monitoring of the carbon isotope variations of CO2 opens new fields of research in volcanology.

Another unique tracer for monitoring volcanic activity is the 3He/4He ratio within the gases emitted from the volcano increase shortly before the volcano erupts. With helium samples collected at the source, it is possible to get a much-needed warning of a potentially major eruption.

The Thermo Scientific™ Helix™ SFT is a state-of-the-art instrument used in noble gas mass spectrometry and is known as the instrument of choice for achieving highly precise measurements of helium isotopes in volcanic samples.

The Thermo Scientific™ Gas IRMS portfolio is very powerful for measuring the isotope composition of the emitted CO2.

Andrea Rizzo from INGV, Italy

"A step forward in the surveillance of volcanoes is now possible."