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Home > Applications > Environmental Monitoring > Volcanic Research

Volcanic Research

For researchers monitoring volcano activity, Ocean Optics spectrometers and accessories are ideal for measuring the emission of sulfur dioxide and other volcanic gases. Our spectrometers are flexible enough for techniques such as differential optical absorption spectroscopy, air- and ground-based remote sensing and irradiance measurements:

  • Portability. Our spectrometers are compact and have low power requirements, making it possible to deploy them from a plane or UAV or hand-carry them into volcano zones.
  • UV response. We offer multiple spectrometer options for UV, Visible and NIR wavelengths, but the strong UV response of our Maya2000 Pro model in particular is well suited for monitoring UV light that interacts with volcanic gases.
  • Flexibility. Fiber optic spectrometers bring the measurement to the sample. Spectrometers couple to probes, sampling optics and telescope adapters for a variety of applications.


Maya2000 Pro

Maya2000 Pro Spectrometer

Its deep UV response makes the Maya2000 Pro a great choice for monitoring high-latitude volcanic emissions, where solar UV light is limited.

Thanks to the generosity our customers have demonstrated by publishing materials via open-access websites, we are able to share links to several papers referencing the use of Ocean Optics spectrometers for monitoring volcanic emissions:

The following white paper is available under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

Example Setup: Absorbance of Atmospheric Gases


Absorbance measurements are used to quantify the concentration of solutions and gases (as described in this setup) that absorb light in a media that transmits light. In this case, the transmitting light is solar radiation.

Spectrometer Setup

There are several possible approaches when monitoring atmospheric gases. In this example, we’re using a USB2000+UV-VIS-ES spectrometer preconfigured for the range from 200-850 nm. Optical bench accessories include a detector collection lens for increased throughput. For better response in the UV, one might consider a Maya2000 Pro spectrometer in place of the USB2000+UV-VIS-ES.

Sampling Optics

A 200 mm core solarization-resistant optical fiber and collection optics complete the setup. Depending on the experiment, suitable optical fiber alternatives include a 400 mm or larger core diameter assembly. The length of the fiber in the example setup is 2 meters, although a shorter length can be used. Also, because solar UV radiation may not be intense enough to warrant the use of solarization-resistant fiber, our high OH UV-Vis fiber is an acceptable alternative.

To complete the sampling setup, you have several collection options from which to select: a Gershun tube, which couples directly to the spectrometer or to the fiber and has interchangeable apertures on the sampling side for adjusting the field of view; a 74-UV or 84-UV-25 collimating lens; a cosine corrector, which also can be attached directly to the spectrometer or to the fiber for collecting signal from 180° field of view; and an MFA-C-MOUNT or C-MOUNT-MIC adapter for coupling to a telescope.


OceanView spectroscopy software completes the system.

Absorbance of Atmospheric Gases – System Components

USB2000+UV-VIS-ES This spectrometer is preconfigured for UV-Vis measurements from 200-850 nm in the sample setup. The spectrometer has a 25 µm slit as the entrance aperture, an order-sorting filter and a detector collection lens for increased sensitivity.
QP200-2-SR-BX Solarization-resistant patch cord assembly, 200 µm diameter, 2 meters length, BX jacketing. Larger core diameter fibers in shorter lengths are also acceptable.
OceanView Spectroscopy software
Collection Optics Options
GER-KIT Optical fixture for controlling field of view comprises a narrow aluminum tube with fiber connector on one side and aperture on the other. Multiple interchangeable aperture assemblies are available.
74-UV or 84-UV-25 Collimating lenses for attaching to optical fibers for controlling the field of view of the sampling setup; 74-UV is 5 mm in diameter with 10 mm focal length and 84-UV-25 is 25.4 mm in diameter with 100 mm focal length.
CC-3-UV-S Sampling optic for light collection from 180° field of view; comprises Spectralon® diffusing material in an anodized aluminum fixture.
C-MOUNT-MIC or MFA-C-MOUNT Adapter assembly with internal C-mount threads allows users to couple setups to devices such as telescopes.

Absorbance of Atmospheric Gases

Volcanic Research - DOAS Spectra

Differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS) is a common methodology for measuring volcanic gases with prominent UV absorption features.

Volcanic Research - NO2 Spectra

Ocean Optics spectrometers coupled to telescopes were used to monitor nitrogen dioxide emitted during the burning of sugar cane residue.

Volcanic Research - SO2 Spectra

An Ocean Optics spectrometer measured sulfur dioxide emission from the volcano cones Benbow and Arum, part of Ambrym island in the Republic of Vanuatu.

Volcanic Research Volcanic Research Volcanic Research Volcanic Research Volcanic Research Volcanic Research
STS Developers Kit

STS Developers Kit

Connect, Code, Create with New Sensing Tools
USB2000+ (Custom)

USB2000+ (Custom)

Custom Configured Spectrometer for Setup Flexibility
HR2000+ (Custom)

HR2000+ (Custom)

Custom High Resolution Spectrometer for Maximum Flexibility
LLS Family

LLS Family

High-Performance UV and visible LEDs


Reliable Results Regardless of Environmental Conditions


Rugged Watertight Carrying Case


UV Spectral Analysis in a Tiny Footprint
USB4000 (Custom)

USB4000 (Custom)

Custom Configured for Maximum Flexibility


Vis Spectral Analysis in a Tiny Footprint
84-series Collimating Lenses

84-series Collimating Lenses

Large-Diameter Single Lenses


NIR Spectral Analysis in a Tiny Footprint
Maya2000 Pro (Custom)

Maya2000 Pro (Custom)

High Sensitivity Spectrometer