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Instituto de Investigação
em Vulcanologia e Avaliação de Riscos
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Painéis ► em encontros internacionais


Referência Bibliográfica

FERREIRA, T., VIVEIROS, F., MARCOS, M., GASPAR, J.L. (2004) - Azores University Volcano Observatory: volcanic gases monitoring network. International Symposium “REDUCING VOLCANIC RISK IN ISLANDS”, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain 2 - 6 de Junho (Poster).


The main degassing areas in the Azores archipelago are associated with the hydrothermal systems of some active volcanoes located at S. Miguel, Terceira, Graciosa, Faial and Pico Islands, and include fumarolic fields, thermal and CO2 cold springs and soil diffuse degassing (Ferreira, 1994; Viveiros, 2003).


This work reports the gas geochemical monitoring programme currently in progress in the Azores for seismovolcanic surveillance and public health risk assessment. It mainly consists in continuous and regular measurements of gaseous emissions on fumaroles, geothermal wells and soil diffuse degassing areas.


The continuous monitoring programme started in the archipelago with the installation of a permanent CO2 soil flux station at Furnas Volcano caldera on October 2001. At the present time four stations are running, two at S. Miguel Island, one at Terceira Island and one at Graciosa Island. The Graciosa station also performs H2S flux measurements. All the stations include additional sensors to quantify meteorological and environmental changes, namely barometric pressure, air temperature, air humidity, wind speed and direction, rainfall, soil water content and soil temperature.


Spatial distribution of soil degassing geochemical and thermal anomalies is being mapped for seismovolcanic monitoring. Moreover, this work is being used to identify active faults and hazardous areas. CO2 and 222Rn are the main gases surveyed for these purposes.


CO2 atmospheric concentrations are also being monitored to reduce public health risk. This is the case of Furna do Enxofre lava cave (Graciosa Island), an important tourist site where an alert and warning system was installed for public safety.