EGU23-3819, updated on 10 Jan 2024
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Using tunable diode laser (TDL) system in urban environments to measure anomalous CO2 concentrations: the case of Puerto Naos, La Palma, Canary Islands

José Barrancos1,2, Germán D. Padilla1,2, Gladys V. Melián1,2, Fátima Rodríguez1, María Asensio-Ramos1, Eleazar Padrón1,2, Pedro A. Hernández1,2, Jon Vilches Sarasate3, and Nemesio M. Pérez1,2
José Barrancos et al.
  • 1Instituto Volcanológico de Canarias (INVOLCAN), 38320 San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Tenerife, Canary Islands (
  • 2Instituto Tecnológico y de Energías Renovables (ITER), 38600 Granadilla de Abona, Tenerife, Canary Islands
  • 3Viceconsejería de Lucha contra el Cambio Climático y Transición Ecológica, Gobierno de Canarias, 35071 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a colourless and odourless gas. It is non-flammable, chemically non-reactive and 1.5 times as heavy as air; therefore, may accumulate at low elevations. CO2 is a toxic gas at high concentration, as well as an asphyxiant gas (due to reduction in oxygen). Irritation of the eyes, nose and throat occurs only at high concentrations. Since the Tajogaite eruption ended on December 13, 2021, high concentrations of CO2 up to 20% (200.000 ppmv) have been observed inside of buildings of the neighborhoods of La Bombilla and Puerto Naos (La Palma, Canary Islands), which are located about 5 km distance from the Tajogaite eruption vent. Anomalous concentrations of CO2 are manily detected in the ground-floor and basement of the buildings in Puerto Naos, and the distribution of relatively high CO2 concentrations  is not homogeneous or uniform throughout the Puerto Naos area (Hernández P.A. et al, 2022).

The purpose of this study was to use the Tunable Laser Diode (TDL) absorption spectroscopy method to monitor the indoor CO2 concentration of the ground-floor of one of the buildings of Puerto Naos. A CO2-TDL was installed on 9 January 2022 and continues measuring the CO2 concentration along an optical path of about 6 meters. During the period January-March 2022, daily averages of CO2 concentrations from fifteen-minute data ranged from 5000 to 25000 ppmv reaching values up to 40000 ppmv (4%). Over time, a clear decreasing trend of the indoor CO2 concentration has been observed at this observation site and the daily CO2 averages from fifteen-minute data during the last 3 months (October-December 2022) ranged from 1000 to 2500 ppmv. This clear decreasing trend over time has not been observed at other observation sites where the concentration of CO2 inside buildings is being monitored. This observation indicates the complexity of the problem and the need to install a dense network of sensors to monitor CO2 for civil protection purposes.


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: Barrancos, J., Padilla, G. D., Melián, G. V., Rodríguez, F., Asensio-Ramos, M., Padrón, E., Hernández, P. A., Vilches Sarasate, J., and Pérez, N. M.: Using tunable diode laser (TDL) system in urban environments to measure anomalous CO2 concentrations: the case of Puerto Naos, La Palma, Canary Islands, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-3819,, 2023.