Assessing the effectiveness of low-cost air quality monitors for identifying volcanic SO2 and PM downwind from Masaya volcano, Nicaragua

Whitty, Rachel C. W., Pfeffer, Melissa A., Ilyinskaya, Evgenia, Roberts, Tjarda J., Schmidt, Anja, Barsotti, Sara, Strauch, Wilfried, Crilley, Leigh R., Pope, Francis D., Bellanger, Harold, Mendoza, Elvis, Mather, Tamsin A., Liu, Emma J., Peters, Nial, Taylor, Isabelle A., Francis, Hilary, Hernández Leiva, Xochilt, Lynch, Dave, Norbert, Sebastien and Baxter, Peter (2022) Assessing the effectiveness of low-cost air quality monitors for identifying volcanic SO2 and PM downwind from Masaya volcano, Nicaragua. Volcanica, 5 (1). pp. 33-59. ISSN 2610-3540

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Gas and particulate matter (PM) emissions from Masaya volcano, Nicaragua, cause substantial regional volcanic air pollution (VAP). We evaluate the suitability of low-cost SO2and PM sensors for a continuous air-quality network. The network was deployed for six months in five populated areas (4-16 km from crater). The SO2sensors failed and recorded erroneous values on multiple occasions, likely due to corrosion, requiring significant maintenance commitment. The PM sensors were found to be robust but data required correction for humidity. SO2measurements could not be used as stand-alone tools to detect occurrence of VAP episodes (VAPE), but an SO2/PM correlation reliably achieved this at near-field stations, as confirmed by meteorological forecasts and satellite imagery. Abovebackground PM concentrations reliably identified VAPE at both near-field and far-field stations. We suggest that a continuous network can be built from a combination of low-cost PM and SO2sensors with a greater number of PM-only sensors.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: RCWW is funded by the Leeds-York Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) NE/L002574/1, in CASE partnership with the Icelandic Meteorological Office. TJR acknowledges ANR Projet de Recherche Collaborative VOLC-HAL-CLIM (Volcanic Halogens: from Deep Earth to Atmospheric Impacts), ANR-18-CE01-11. IAT acknowledges the support of the Centre for Observation and Modelling of Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tectonics (COMET) and NERC funding through the Oxford Environmental Research DTP (NE/L002612/1). The "Unseen but not unfelt: resilience to persistent volcanic emissions (UNRESP)" project was funded by GCRF NE/P015271/1 and NE/R009465/
Uncontrolled Keywords: Air-quality, Low-cost, Masaya, PM, SO2, Volcano
Subjects: F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Humanities
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2022 09:27
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2022 11:07

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