Environmental Geology

, Volume 57, Issue 8, pp 1723–1728 | Cite as

Hydrogen sulphide as a natural air contaminant in volcanic/geothermal areas: the case of Sousaki, Corinthia (Greece)

  • W. D’Alessandro
  • L. Brusca
  • K. Kyriakopoulos
  • G. Michas
  • G. Papadakis
Original Article

Abstract

Volcanic and geothermal areas are one of the major natural sources of H2S to the atmosphere. Its environmental impact is often the main cause of the opposition to the development of geothermal energy exploitation programs. In this paper, we analyze the air concentrations and dispersion pattern of naturally emitted H2S at the geothermal area of Sousaki (Corinthia, Greece). Measurements, made with a network of passive samplers, evidence a rapid decrease of concentration values away from the emission points. The fact that the decrease is more pronounced in the summer with respect to the winter indicates that it is not only due to a dilution effect, but also to redox reactions favored by higher temperatures and intense sunlight typical of the summer period.

Keywords

Hydrogen sulphide Environmental impact of geothermal gases Gas hazard Passive samplers Greece 

References

  1. Aiuppa A, D’Alessandro W, Federico C, Ferm M, Valenza M (2004) Volcanic plume monitoring at Mount Etna by diffusive (passive) sampling. J Geophys Res 109:D21308CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aiuppa A, Franco A, von Glasow R, Allen AG, D’Alessandro W, Mather TA, Pyle DM, Valenza M (2007) The tropospheric processing of acidic gases and hydrogen sulphide in volcanic gas plumes as inferred from field and model investigations. Atmos Chem Phys 7:1441–1450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Anderson I (1991) Blowout blights future of Hawaii’s geothermal power. New Sci 1778:17Google Scholar
  4. Arnorsson H (2004) Environmental impact of geothermal energy utilization. In: Giere R, Stille P (eds) Energy, waste, and the environment: a geochemical perspective Geol Soc. Spec Publ, London 236: 297–336Google Scholar
  5. Ayers GP, Keywood MD, Gillet RW, Manins PC, Malfroy H, Bardsley T (1998) Validation of passive diffusion samplers for SO2 and NO2. Atmos Environ 32:3593–3600CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bates MN, Garrett N, Graham B, Read D (1997) Air pollution and mortality in the Rotorua geothermal area. Aust N Z J Public Health 21:581–586CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bates MN, Garrett N, Graham B, Read D (1998) Cancer incidence, morbidity and geothermal air pollution in Rotorua, New Zealand. Int J Epidemiol 27:10–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Beauchamp RO Jr, Bus JS, Popp JA, Boreiko CJ, Andjelkovich DA (1984) A critical review of the literature on hydrogen sulfide toxicity. Crit Rev Toxicol 13:25–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. D’Alessandro W (2006) Gas hazard: an often neglected natural risk in volcanic areas. In: Martin-Duque JF, Brebbia CA, Emmanouloudis DE, Mander U (eds) Geo-environment and landscape evolution II. WIT Press, Southampton, pp 369–378 http://hdl.handle.net/2122/2589 Google Scholar
  10. D’Alessandro W, Brusca L, Kyriakopoulos K, Rotolo S, Michas G, Minio M, Papadakis G (2006) Diffuse and focussed carbon dioxide and methane emissions from the Sousaki geothermal system, Greece. Geophys Res Lett 33:L05307Google Scholar
  11. Delmelle P, Stix J, Baxter PJ, Garcia-Alvarez J, Barquero J (2002) Atmospheric dispersion, environmental effects and potential health hazard associated with the low-altitude gas plume of Masaya volcano, Nicaragua. Bull Volcanol 64:423–434CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ermak DL, Nyholm RA, Gudilsen PH (1980) Potential air quality impacts of large-scale geothermal energy development in the Imperial Valley, California, USA. Atmos Environ 14:1321–1330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ferm M, Rodhe H (1997) Measurements of air concentrations of SO2, NO2 and NH3 at rural and remote sites in Asia. J Atmos Chem 27:17–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fondazione Salvatore Maugeri (2007) Instruction manual for radiello sampler, http://www.radiello.com
  15. Fytikas M, Dalambakis P, Karkoulias V, Mendrinos D (1995) Geothermal exploration and development activities in Greece during 1990–1994. Proc world geotherm congr, Rome, 1995Google Scholar
  16. Gallegos-Ortega R, Quintero-Nunez M, Garcia-Cueto OR (2000) H2S dispersion model at Cerro Prieto geothermoelectric power plant. Proc world geotherm congr 2000, Kyushu-Tohoku, Japan, 28 May–10 June 2000, 579–584Google Scholar
  17. Kristmannsdottir H, Sigurgeirsson M, Armannsson H, Hjartarson H, Olafsson M (2000) Sulphur gas emission from geothermal power plants in Iceland. Geotherm 29:525–538CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kyriakopoulos K, Kanakis-Sotiriou R, Stamatakis MG (1990) The authigenic minerals formed from volcanic emanations at Soussaki, W. Attica peninsula, Greece. Can Mineral 28:363–368Google Scholar
  19. Loppi S (1996) Lichens as bioindicators of geothermal air pollution in Central Italy. Bryologist 99:41–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Marani M, Tole M, Ogalo L (2000) Concentrations of H2S in air around the Olkaria geothermal field, Kenya. Proc world geotherm congr 2000, Kyushu-Tohoku, Japan, 28 May–10 June 2000: 649–661Google Scholar
  21. Marouli C, Kaldellis JK (2001) Risk in the Greek electricity production sector. Proc 7th internat conf environ sci technol ermoupolis, Syros Island, Greece, Sept. 2001, 305–314Google Scholar
  22. Pham M, Muller JFM, Brasseur GP, Granier C, Megie GM (1995) A three dimensional study of the tropospheric sulphur cycle. J Geophys Res 100:26061–26092CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Pe-Piper G, Hatzipanagiotou K (1997) The Pliocene volcanic rocks of Crommyonia, W. Greece and their implications for the early evolution of the South Aegean arc. Geol Mag 134:55–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Siegel SM, Penny P, Siegel BZ, Penny D (1986) Atmospheric hydrogen sulfide levels at the Sulfur Bay Wildlife area, Lake Rotorua, New Zealand. Water Air Soil Pollut 28:385–391Google Scholar
  25. Tretiach M, Ganis P (1999) Hydrogen sulphide and epiphytic lichen vegetation: a case study on Mt. Amiata (Central Italy). Lichenol 31:163–181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Tsatsanifos C, Kontogianni V, Stiros S (2007) Tunnelling and other engineering works in volcanic environments: Sousaki and Thessaly. Bull Geol Soc Greece 40:1733–1740Google Scholar
  27. Vasilakos C, Maggos T, Bartzis JG, Papagiannakopoulos P (2005) Determination of atmospheric sulfur compounds near a volcanic area in Greece. J Atmos Chem 52:101–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Witham CS (2005) Volcanic disasters and incidents: a new database. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 148:191–233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. WHO (2003) Hydrogen sulphide: human health aspects. Concise International Chemical Assessment Document 53, World Health Organization, Geneva, pp 26Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. D’Alessandro
    • 1
  • L. Brusca
    • 1
  • K. Kyriakopoulos
    • 2
  • G. Michas
    • 2
  • G. Papadakis
    • 2
  1. 1.Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia—Sezione di PalermoPalermoItaly
  2. 2.Department of Geology, Faculty of Geology and GeoenvironmentNational and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece

Personalised recommendations