Sulfur dioxide emissions from Aleutian Island volcanoes • Earth.com

Last update: September 14th, 2019 at 2:00 pm

Today’s Image of the Day comes thanks to the NASA Earth Observatory and features a map of sulfur dioxide emissions from volcanoes in the Aleutian Islands. When people think of volcanoes, they often jump right to the idea of dramatic and violent eruptions. But a number of volcanoes quietly and continuously exhale water vapor filled with gases like carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and sulfur dioxide.

In a new study published in Scientific Reports, a team of researchers compiled emissions data collected by NASA’s Aura satellite and published emission estimates for 91 different active volcanoes. The map above reflects their estimates for sulfur dioxide emissions from volcanoes in the Aleutian Islands.

“Many people may not realize that volcanoes are continuously releasing quite large amounts of gas, and may do so for decades or even centuries,” said volcanologist Simon Carn of Michigan Technological University, lead author of the study. “Because the daily emissions are smaller than a big eruption, the effect of a single plume may not seem noticeable. But the cumulative effect of all volcanoes can be significant. In fact, on average, volcanoes release most of their gas when they are not erupting.”

By Rory Arnold, Earth.com Staff Writer

Source: NASA Earth Observatory

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