A camera that can predict volcanic eruptions?

Low cost volcano camera
The SO2 camera installation on Lascar Volcano, Chile (Image credit: Frontiers)

Scientists have developed a low-cost camera that could help predict when a volcano is likely to erupt. When magma is near the surface of a volcano, it emits sulfur dioxide (SO₂) gas, but until recently ultraviolet cameras that could detect changes in SO₂ emissions were incredibly expensive – so very few were used. 

Now researchers from the University of Sheffield, England, have developed a much more affordable SO₂ camera that costs around $5,000 (approximately £4,000 / AU$7,500) and could be set up at lots more volcanic sites. Costs have been kept down by 3D-printing as many components as possible, and the camera itself requires around half as much power, so for sites where solar panels are being used a lot less of them are needed. 

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.