Passive degassing at Nyiragongo (D.R. Congo) and Etna (Italy) volcanoes

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Sergio Calabrese
Sarah Scaglione
Silvia Milazzo
Walter D'Alessandro
Nicole Bobrowski
Giovanni Bruno Giuffrida
Dario Tedesco
Francesco Parello
Mathiew Yalire


Volcanoes are well known as an impressive large natural source of trace elements into the troposphere. Etna (Italy) and Nyiragongo (D.R. Congo) are two stratovolcanoes located in different geological settings, both characterized by persistent passive degassing from their summit craters. Here, we present some results on trace element composition in volcanic plume emissions, atmospheric bulk deposition (rainwater) and their uptake by the surrounding vegetation, with the aim to compare and identify differences and similarities between these two volcanoes. Volcanic emissions were sampled by using active filter-packs for acid gases (sulfur and halogens) and specific teflon filters for particulates (major and trace elements). The environmental impact of the volcanogenic deposition in the area surrounding of the crater rims was investigated by using different sampling techniques: bulk rain collectors’ gauges were used to collect atmospheric bulk deposition, and biomonitoring was carried out to collect gases and particulates by using endemic plant species. The estimates of the trace element fluxes confirm that Etna and Nyiragongo are large sources of metals into the atmosphere, especially considering their persistent state of passive degassing. The large amount of emitted trace elements is clearly reflected on the chemical composition of rainwater collected at the summit areas both for Etna and Nyiragongo. Moreover, the biomonitoring results highlight that bioaccumulation of trace elements is extremely high in the proximity of the crater rim and de- creases with the distance from the active craters. 


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How to Cite
Calabrese, S., Scaglione, S., Milazzo, S., D’Alessandro, W., Bobrowski, N., Giuffrida, G. B., Tedesco, D., Parello, F. and Yalire, M. (2015) “Passive degassing at Nyiragongo (D.R. Congo) and Etna (Italy) volcanoes”, Annals of Geophysics, 57. doi: 10.4401/ag-6637.

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