Local and remote infrasound from explosive volcanism
Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 1:55 PM
Explosive volcanic eruptions can inject large volumes of ash into heavily travelled air corridors and thus pose a significant societal and economic hazard. In remote volcanic regions, satellite data are sometimes the only technology available to observe volcanic eruptions and constrain ash-release parameters for aviation safety. Infrasound (acoustic waves ~0.01–20 Hz) data fill this critical observational gap, providing ground-based data for remote volcanic eruptions. Explosive volcanic eruptions are among the most powerful sources of infrasound observed on earth, with recordings routinely made at ranges of hundreds to thousands of kilometers. Advances in infrasound technology and the efficient propagation of infrasound in the atmosphere therefore greatly enhance our ability to monitor volcanoes in remote regions such as the North Pacific Ocean. Infrasound data can be exploited to detect, locate, and provide detailed chronologies of the timing of explosive volcanic eruptions for use in ash transport and dispersal models. We highlight results from case studies of multiple eruptions recorded by the International Monitoring System and dedicated regional infrasound networks (2008 Kasatochi, Alaska, USA; 2008 Okmok, Alaska, USA; 2009 Sarychev Peak, Kuriles, Russian Federation; 2010 Eyjafjallajökull, Icleand) and show how infrasound is currently used in volcano monitoring. We also present progress towards characterizing and modeling the variability in source mechanisms of infrasound from explosive eruptions using dedicated local infrasound field deployments at volcanoes Karymsky, Russian Federation and Sakurajima, Japan.