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Satellite Observations of anthropogenic and volcanic SO2 using GOME-2 measurements

Christoph Hörmann(1), Kornelia Mies(2), Steffen Beirle(2), Ulrich Platt(1) and Thomas Wagner(2)

(1) University of Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 229, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
(2) Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Joh.-Joachim-Becher-Weg 27, 55128 Mainz, Germany


It is well known that sulfur dioxid (SO2) is emitted from anthropogenic sources (like industrial emissions) or naturally (e.g. from vulcanoes). In the context of a PhD work we plan to get a better understanding of these tropospherical SO2 sources using satellite remote sensing data from the GOME-2 instrument (Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment-2) on board of the MetOp satellite.

The GOME-2 instrument observes four times smaller ground pixels (80 km x 40 km) than the previous model GOME on ERS-2, while global equatorial coverage can be achieved now within 1.5 day (hitherto three days). Thus satellite observations are most suitable to provide continous monitoring of SO2 emission from all kind of sources over the whole globe.

By analyzing data from the GOME-2, we are able to identify regions with extensive burning of coal smelting of metal ores and heavy industrial activities such as some areas in eastern China or Norilsk in Siberia (Russia), as well as activity from several volcanoes (e.g. on Hawaii or the Galápagos Islands) during the last 2 years. Daily and monthly maps will be presented, showing the enhancements of SO2 column amounts in this industrial areas, clear signature of volcanic eruptions and the transport of the resulting SO2 plumes.