EGU23-4188, updated on 22 Feb 2023
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Air CO2 monitoring network in the urban areas of Puerto Naos and La Bombilla, La Palma, Canary Islands

Germán D. Padilla1,2, José Barrancos1,2, Pedro A. Hernández1,2, Antonio J. Álvarez Díaz3,4, Nemesio M. Pérez1,2, Alexis M. González Pérez3,5, José M. Santana1, José M. Pacheco6, Fátima Viveiros6, Konradin Weber7, and Jon Vilches Sarasate8
Germán D. Padilla 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
  • 3Instituto Volcanológico de Canarias (INVOLCAN), 38740 Fuencaliente, La Palma, Canary Islands
  • 4Agrolaguna, 38760 Los Llanos de Aridane, La Palma, Canary Islands
  • 5Hidrolap Medioambiental S.L., 38750 El Paso, La Palma, Canary Islands
  • 6Instituto de Investigação em Vulcanologia e Avaliação de Riscos (IVAR), 9500-321 Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal
  • 7University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf (HSD). Laboratory for Environment Measurement Techniques, 40476 Düsseldorf, Germany
  • 8Viceconsejería 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 colorless, odorless and also heavier than air, which means it can accumulate at low elevations. At high concentrations, CO2 can be hazardous and can cause asphyxiation by reducing the amount of oxygen available to breathe. In high concentrations, it can also irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. During the post-eruptive phase of Tajogaite eruption, high concentrations of air CO2, up to 20% (200,000 ppmv), have been detected both outdoor and indoor of buildings at La Bombilla and Puerto Naos, which are located about 5 km from the eruption vent. Hazardous CO2 concentrations were detected not only in the basements, but also on the ground floors and even inside of some upper floors buildings in Puerto Naos. In the case of La Bombilla, relatively high CO2 concentrations were just observed on the ground floors. The spatial distribution of these hazardous indoor CO2 concentrations is not uniform throughout both populated areas (Hernández et al, 2022).

In order to study and assess this volcanic hazard, in both evacuated neighborhoods, an instrumental network for air CO2 monitoring has been established by INVOLCAN in collaboration with the DGSE-GOBCAN and the Universities of the Azores (Portugal) and Düsseldorf Applied Sciences (Germany). The first CO2 monitoring station was installed on 9 January 2022 and by the time being this network consists of 35 air CO2 monitoring stations with different full scale (2 of 100%, 22 of 20%, 7 of 5% and 4 of 4%). In the case of La Bombilla the air CO2 monitoring network consists of 10 different stations monitoring the indoor (7) and outdoor (3) CO2 concentrations, respectively. The other 25 stations are located in Puerto Naos to monitor the indoor (21) and outdoor (4) ambient air CO2 concentrations.

Observed outdoor CO2 maximum and mean daily average concentrations > 5% (> 50,000 ppmv) and 0.9% (9,000 ppmv), respectively, have been recorded at Puerto Naos. However, indoor CO2 monitoring at Puerto Naos have reached maximum and mean daily average concentrations about 20% (200,000 ppmv) and 12% (120,000 ppmv), respectively. In the case of La Bombilla, outdoor CO2 measurements have reached maximum and mean daily average concentrations > 5% (> 50,000 ppmv) and about 2% (20,000 ppmv). Stations to monitor the indoor air CO2 concentrations at La Bombilla were just installed (December 2022) and by the time being are recording maximum and mean CO2 concentrations about 6% (60,000 ppmv) and 1.9% (19,000 ppmv), respectively. Most of the air CO2 monitoring stations, both outdoor and indoor, shows that the daily averages of CO2 concentrations from fifteen-minute data during the night are usually higher than during the day.

To mitigate the observed hazardous CO2 concentrations some remediation techniques have been suggested, such as the installation of an indoor air CO2 monitoring network with a larger number of stations and an automatic alert system for air CO2 concentration inside residences with forced air ventilation systems.

Hernández P. A. et al., EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-7705,, 2022.

How to cite: Padilla, G. D., Barrancos, J., Hernández, P. A., Álvarez Díaz, A. J., Pérez, N. M., González Pérez, A. M., Santana, J. M., Pacheco, J. M., Viveiros, F., Weber, K., and Vilches Sarasate, J.: Air CO2 monitoring network in the urban areas of Puerto Naos and La Bombilla, La Palma, Canary Islands, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-4188,, 2023.