Assessing and optimizing infrasound network performance: application to remote volcano monitoring
Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Infrasound is an efficient monitoring technique to remotely detect and characterize explosive sources such as volcanoes. Simulation methods incorporating realistic source and propagation effects have been developed to quantify the detection capability of any network. These methods can also be used to optimize the network configuration (number of stations, geographical location) in order to reduce the detection thresholds taking into account seasonal effects in infrasound propagation. Recent studies have shown that remote infrasound observations can provide useful information about the eruption chronology and the released acoustic energy. Comparisons with near-field recordings allow evaluating the potential of these observations to better constrain source parameters when other monitoring techniques (satellite, seismic, gas) are not available or cannot be made. Because of its regular activity, the well-instrumented Mount Etna is in Europe a unique natural repetitive source to test and optimize detection and simulation methods. The closest infrasound station part of the International Monitoring System is located in Tunisia (IS48). In summer, during the downwind season, it allows an unambiguous identification of signals associated with Etna eruptions. Under the European ARISE project (Atmospheric dynamics InfraStructure in Europe, FP7/2007-2013), experimental arrays have been installed in order to characterize infrasound propagation in different ranges of distance and direction. In addition, a small-aperture array, set up on the flank by the University of Firenze, has been operating since 2007. Such an experimental setting offers an opportunity to address the societal benefits that can be achieved through routine infrasound monitoring.