Monitoring volcanic hazard using eddy covariance at Solfatara volcano, Naples, Italy

C. Werner, G. Chiodini, D. Voigt, S. Caliro, R. Avino, M. Russo, T. Brombach, J. Wyngaard, S. Brantley

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25 Scopus citations


An eddy covariance (EC) station was deployed at Solfatara crater, Italy, June 8-25, 2001 to assess if EC could reliably monitor CO2 fluxes continuously at this site. Deployment at six different locations within the crater allowed areas of focused gas venting to be variably included in the measured flux. Turbulent (EC) fluxes calculated in 30-min averages varied between 950 and 4460 g CO2 m-2 d-1; the highest measurements were made downwind of degassing pools. Comparing turbulent fluxes with chamber measurements of surface fluxes using footprint models in diffuse degassing regions yielded an average difference of 0% (±4%), indicating that EC measurements are representative of surface fluxes at this volcanic site. Similar comparisons made downwind of degassing pools yielded emission rates from 12 to 27 t CO2 d-1 for these features. Reliable EC measurements (i.e. measurements with sufficient and stationary turbulence) were obtained primarily during daytime hours (08:00 and 20:00 local time) when the wind speed exceeded 2 m s-1. Daily average EC fluxes varied by ±50% and variations were likely correlated to changes in atmospheric pressure. Variations in CO2 emissions due to volcanic processes at depth would have to be on the same order of magnitude as the measured diurnal variability in order to be useful in predicting volcanic hazard. First-order models of magma emplacement suggest that emissions could exceed this rate for reasonable assumptions of magma movement. EC therefore provides a useful method of monitoring volcanic hazard at Solfatara. Further, EC can monitor significantly larger areas than can be monitored by previous methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)561-577
Number of pages17
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - May 30 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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