Data products

Sulphur Dioxide


Sulphur dioxide (SO2) enters the Earth’s atmosphere through both natural and anthropogenic processes. It plays a role in chemistry on a local and global scale and its impact ranges from short term pollution to effects on climate. Only about 30% of the emitted SO2 comes from natural sources; the majority is of anthropogenic origin. SO2 emissions adversely affect human health and air quality. SO2 has an effect on climate through radiative forcing, via the formation of sulphate aerosols. Volcanic SO2 emissions can also pose a threat to aviation, along with volcanic ash. S5P/TROPOMI samples the Earth’s surface with a revisit time of one day with unprecedented spatial resolution of 3.5 x 5.5 km which allows the resolution of fine details including the detection of much smaller SO2 plumes. Here below is an example of TROPOMI SO2 from 15 April 2021 when large amounts of SO2 were transported eastward from the La Soufrière volcanic eruption. If you look closely you can also see much smaller plumes emitted from Italy's Mt. Etna and  South Africa's industrial highveld region. Read more about TROPOMI SO2 via this link.

Data product version summary (click on the latest version number for current PRF). 

Version number Version Effective Orbit Number and Date Summary of Changes


OFFL:  orbit 19258, 2021-07-01
NRTI:  orbit 19308, 2021-07-05

Current version; updated L1b, see PRF


OFFL:  orbit 16213, 2020-11-29
NRTI:  orbit 16259, 2020-12-02



OFFL:  orbit 14239, 2020-07-13
NRTI:  orbit 14285, 2020-07-16

SO2 background correction updated



Links to the Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document (ATBD), the Product User Manual (PUM), and the Product Readme File (PRF) are located on the right of this page under Documentation. This data product was released in October 2018 and is now available on the Copernicus Open Data Access Hub (see link on the right).