EGU23-3643, updated on 10 Jan 2024
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

CO2 hazard mapping in the buildings of La Bombilla and Puerto Naos (La Palma, Canary Islands) using of alkaline traps

Noelia Rodríguez1, María Asensio-Ramos2, Gladys V. Melián2,3, Cecilia Amonte2, Antonio J. Álvarez Díaz1,4, Alexis M. González Pérez1,5, Fátima Rodríguez2, Germán D. Padilla2,3, José Barrancos2,3, Luca D'Auria2,3, Pedro A. Hernández2,3, and Nemesio M. Pérez2,3
Noelia Rodríguez et al.
  • 1Instituto Volcanológico de Canarias (INVOLCAN), 38740 Fuencaliente, La Palma, Canary Islands (
  • 2Instituto Volcanológico de Canarias (INVOLCAN), 38320 San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Tenerife, Canary Islands
  • 3Instituto Tecnológico y de Energías Renovables (ITER), 38600 Granadilla de Abona, Tenerife, Canary Islands
  • 4Agrolaguna, 38760 Los Llanos de Aridane, La Palma, Canary Islands
  • 5Hydrolap Medio Ambiental S.L., 38750 El Paso, La Palma, Canary Islands

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a gas that is found in small amounts in Earth's atmosphere. It is released into the atmosphere by volcanoes, but it is typically diluted to low concentrations very quickly and is not harmful to people or animals. However, in certain stable atmospheric conditions, cold CO2 gas can flow into low-lying areas and reach higher concentrations. At these concentrations, CO2 can be dangerous. If the air contains more than 3% CO2, it can cause symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, increased heart rate, and difficulty breathing. At concentrations above 15%, CO2 can quichly lead to unconsciousness and death. The boundary between healthy air and lethal gas can be extremely sharp; even a single step upslope may be adequate to escape death.

Since the Tajogaite eruption ended on December 13, 2021, high concentrations of CO2 up to 20% have been observed inside the buildings of La Bombilla and Puerto Naos (La Palma, Canary Islands).  Anomalous concentrations of CO2 are detected mainly in the ground-floor and basement of the buildings in Puerto Naos, and their distribution is not homogeneous or uniform throughout the Puerto Naos area (Hernández P.A. et al, 2022).  Because of the ultradilute nature of CO2 in the atmosphere, chemical sorbents with strong CO2-binding affinities are typically employed for CO2 capture. For this study, we set up a network of 45 alkaline traps stations located on the ground-floor (streel level) inside buildings of Puerto Naos. These chemical sorbents were made up KOH 1.2 M and replace weekly. The aim of this study was to distinguish between indoor areas that had high levels of CO2 in their alkaline traps and those with lower levels of CO2. This was done through weekly surveys conducted from May to October 2022 in order to identify and define areas with the greatest CO2 hazard. The statistical analysis of the results shows that 75% of the variance of the amounts of CO2 retained weekly in the alkaline traps seems to be related to an endogenous CO2 source while 25% of the variance observed is related to external variables.


Hernández, P. A., Padrón, E., Melián, G. V., Pérez, N. M., Padilla, G., Asensio-Ramos, M., Di Nardo, D., Barrancos, J., Pacheco, J. M., and Smit, M.: Gas hazard assessment at Puerto Naos and La Bombilla inhabited areas, Cumbre Vieja volcano, La Palma, Canary Islands, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-7705,, 2022.

How to cite: Rodríguez, N., Asensio-Ramos, M., Melián, G. V., Amonte, C., Álvarez Díaz, A. J., González Pérez, A. M., Rodríguez, F., Padilla, G. D., Barrancos, J., D'Auria, L., Hernández, P. A., and Pérez, N. M.: CO2 hazard mapping in the buildings of La Bombilla and Puerto Naos (La Palma, Canary Islands) using of alkaline traps, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-3643,, 2023.