First airborne samples of a volcanic plume for δ13C of CO2 determinations Journal Article uri icon

DCO ID 11121/9699-4858-6016-7012-CC

is Contribution to the DCO

  • YES

year of publication

  • 2016


  • Volcanic degassing is one of the main natural sources of CO2 to the atmosphere. Carbon isotopes of volcanic gases enable the determination of CO2 sources including mantle, organic or carbonate sediments, and atmosphere. Until recently, this work required sample collection from vents followed by laboratory analyses. Isotope ratio infrared analyzers now enable rapid analyses of plume δ13C-CO2, in situ and in real time. Here we report the first analyses of δ13C-CO2 from airborne samples. These data combined with plume samples from the vent area enable extrapolation to the volcanic source δ13C. We performed our experiment at the previously unsampled and remote Kanaga Volcano in the Western Aleutians. We find a δ13C source composition of −4.4‰, suggesting that CO2 from Kanaga is primarily sourced from the upper mantle with minimal contributions from subducted components. Our method is widely applicable to volcanoes where remote location or activity level precludes sampling using traditional methods.

associated DCO Team


  • 43


  • 7