Probabilistic reasoning over seismic RMS time series: volcano monitoring through HMMs and SAX technique

Monday, 15 December 2014
Marco Antonio Aliotta1, Carmelo Cassisi2, Michele Prestifilippo3, Andrea Cannata3, Placido Montalto2 and Domenico Patanè3, (1)Inst Naz Geofisica Vulcanolgia, Catania, Italy, (2)National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, Rome, Italy, (3)INGV National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, Catania, Italy
During the last years, volcanic activity at Mt. Etna was often characterized by cyclic occurrences of fountains. In the period between January 2011 and June 2013, 38 episodes of lava fountains has been observed. Automatic recognition of the volcano’s states related to lava fountain episodes (Quiet, Pre-Fountaining, Fountaining, Post-Fountaining) is very useful for monitoring purposes. We discovered that such states are strongly related to the trend of RMS (Root Mean Square) of the seismic signal recorded in the summit area.

In the framework of the project PON SIGMA (Integrated Cloud-Sensor System for Advanced Multirisk Management) work, we tried to model the system generating its sampled values (assuming to be a Markov process and assuming that RMS time series is a stochastic process), by using Hidden Markov models (HMMs), that are a powerful tool for modeling any time-varying series. HMMs analysis seeks to discover the sequence of hidden states from the observed emissions. In our framework, observed emissions are characters generated by SAX (Symbolic Aggregate approXimation) technique. SAX is able to map RMS time series values with discrete literal emissions. Our experiments showed how to predict volcano states by means of SAX and HMMs.