Volcanic emissions in Nicaragua

Nicaragua volcano

Summary: AQMesh is used to monitor air quality in communities living near the Masaya volcano and to show variations in volcanogenic sulphur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter (PM) levels at different times and at different locations across the area.

Location: Masaya, Nicaragua

Date: March 2017 - March 2018

Customer: University of Leeds / Global Challenges Research Fund: Unseen but not unfelt: resilience to persistent volcanic emissions (UNRESP)

Objective: The aim of UNRESP project is to o understand the impact of long-term elevated SO2 on the population in order to devise an early warning system for dangerously high levels of air pollution, specifically SO2 and particulate matter.“Air pollution is a chronic and serious hazard affecting many developing countries, but there is generally very limited capability to monitor and mitigate it," commented project leader, Dr. Evgenia Ilyinskaya who is leading the project. "Real-time data on the ground is vital for quantifying and understanding the duration, peak concentration and frequency of high air pollution episodes, which are factors that directly impact human health."

Deployment: Six AQMesh pods were installed at locations around the volcano. Although there is no reference station at the site, diffusion tubes have been used to take measurements which can be compared to the real-time readings from AQMesh.

Results: Currently, data is not being made publicly available, but AQMesh readings were compared to predictions from a pollution dispersion model, which has been successfully used for air pollution forecasting at other volcanic sites. The collaboration with AQMesh has also identified ways of improving the equipment for monitoring volcanogenic pollution which tends to be much more corrosive than ‘typical’ urban pollution.

Project website: https://twitter.com/UNRESPproject

Full news article: Read here.

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