We here present the first chemical characterization of the volcanic gas plume issuing from the Santa Ana crater lake, a hyper-acidic crater lake (pH of − 0.2 to 2.5) in north-western El Salvador. Our results, obtained during regular surveys in 2017 and 2018 using a Multi-GAS instrument, demonstrate a hydrous gas composition (H2O/SO2 ratios from 32 to 205) and SO2 as the main sulfur species (H2S/SO2 = 0.03–0.1). We also find that gas composition evolved during our investigated period, with the CO2/SO2 ratio decreasing by one order of magnitude from March 2017 (37.2 ± 9.7) to November 2018 (< 3). This compositional evolution toward more magmatic (SO2-rich) compositions is interpreted in the context of the long-term evolution of the volcano following its 2005 and 2007 eruptions. We find that, in spite of reduced (background-level) seismicity, the magmatic gas supply into the lake was one order of magnitude higher in March 2017 (total volatile flux: 20,200–30,200 t/day) than in the following periods (total volatile flux: 900–10,167 t/day). We propose that the elevated magmatic/hydrothermal transport in March 2017, combined with a 15% reduction in precipitation, caused the volume of the lake to decrease, ultimately reducing its sulfur absorbing and scrubbing capacity, and hence causing the gas plume CO2/SO2 ratio to decrease. The recently observed increases in temperature, acidity, and salinity of the lake are consistent with this hypothesis. We conclude that the installation of a continuous, fully-automated Multi-GAS is highly desirable to monitor any future change in lake plume chemistry, and hence the level of degassing activity.
|Numero di pagine||14|
|Rivista||Bulletin of Volcanology|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2019|