Novel SO2 spectral evaluation scheme using the 360–390 nm wavelength range

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Bobrowski, N. ; Kern, C. ; Platt, U. ; Hörmann, C. ; Wagner, T. (2010)

Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (DOAS) is a well established spectroscopic method to determine trace gases in the atmosphere. During the last decade, passive DOAS, which uses solar radiation scattered in the atmosphere as a light source, has become a standard tool to determine SO<sub>2</sub> column densities and emission fluxes from volcanoes and other large sources by ground based as well as satellite measurements. For the determination of SO<sub>2</sub> column densities, the structured absorption of the molecule in the 300–330 nm region (due to the A<sup>1</sup>B<sub>1</sub> ← X<sup>1</sup>A<sub>1</sub> transition) is used. However, there are several problems limiting the accuracy of the technique in this particular application. Here we propose to use an alternative wavelength region (360–390 nm) due to the spin-forbidden a<sup>3</sup>B<sub>2</sub> ← X<sup>1</sup>A<sub>1</sub> transition for the DOAS evaluation of SO<sub>2</sub> in conditions where high SO<sub>2</sub> column densities prevail. We show this range to have considerable advantages in such cases, in particular when the particle content of the plume is high and when measurements are performed at large distances from the area of interest.
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