Identifying CO2 Seeps in a Long-Dormant Volcanic Area Using Uncrewed Aerial Vehicle-Based Infrared Thermometry: A Qualitative Study

Sensors (Basel). 2022 Apr 1;22(7):2719. doi: 10.3390/s22072719.


Ciomadul is a long-dormant volcanic area in the Eastern Carpathians of Romania. The study site, the Stinky Cave, and the surrounding areas are well-known for CO2, and H2S seeps. The gases from these seeps come with high flux and are of magmatic origin, associated with the volcanic activity of Ciomadul. In this study, an Uncrewed Aerial Vehicle coupled with a thermal infrared sensor is used to identify new seeps. In order to achieve this, we carried out several field campaigns, coupling image acquisition with the creation of digital outcrop models and orthomosaics. The study was carried out at low ambient temperatures to identify strong thermal anomalies from the gasses. Using this qualitative study method, we identified several new seeps. The total emission of the greenhouse gas CO2 in the Ciomadul area and other similar sites is highly underestimated. The practical application of this method will serve as a guide for a future regional rollout of the thermal infrared mapping and identification of CO2 seeps in the area.

Keywords: CO2; Romania; UAV; gas emission; thermal images.

MeSH terms

  • Carbon Dioxide* / analysis
  • Romania
  • Thermometry*


  • Carbon Dioxide