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Carn, SA, Krueger, AJ, Krotkov, NA, Gray, MA (2004). Fire at Iraqi sulfur plant emits SO2 clouds detected by Earth Probe TOMS. GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, 31(19), L19105.

A fire started at the Al-Mishraq State Sulfur plant near Mosul, Iraq on 24 June 2003 and burned for almost a month. Combustion of elemental sulfur in the fire produced dense clouds of sulfur dioxide (SO2) that were detected from space by the Earth Probe Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (EP TOMS) on 18 days. Estimated daily SO2 production from the continuously emitting source closely mirrors contemporaneous thermal infrared radiance from the fire sensed in the 3.96 mm band of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer ( MODIS). We calculate total SO2 production during the blaze amounting to similar to600 kilotons, which is roughly commensurate with the predicted SO2 yield from the inventory of elemental sulfur allegedly destroyed by the fire when potential SO2 losses are considered. This event is the largest non-volcanic SO2 emission incident measured to date by any TOMS instrument.



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