Infrasound Waveform Inversion and Mass Flux Validation from Sakurajima Volcano, Japan
Abstract:Recent advances in numerical wave propagation modeling and station coverage have permitted robust inversion of infrasound data from volcanic explosions. Complex topography and crater morphology have been shown to substantially affect the infrasound waveform, suggesting that homogeneous acoustic propagation assumptions are invalid. Infrasound waveform inversion provides an exciting tool to accurately characterize emission volume and mass flux from both volcanic and non-volcanic explosions. Mass flux, arguably the most sought-after parameter from a volcanic eruption, can be determined from the volume flux using infrasound waveform inversion if the volcanic flow is well-characterized. Thus far, infrasound-based volume and mass flux estimates have yet to be validated. In February 2015 we deployed six infrasound stations around the explosive Sakurajima Volcano, Japan for 8 days. Here we present our full waveform inversion method and volume and mass flux estimates of numerous high amplitude explosions using a high resolution DEM and 3-D Finite Difference Time Domain modeling. Application of this technique to volcanic eruptions may produce realistic estimates of mass flux and plume height necessary for volcanic hazard mitigation.
Several ground-based instruments and methods are used to independently determine the volume, composition, and mass flux of individual volcanic explosions. Specifically, we use ground-based ash sampling, multispectral infrared imagery, UV spectrometry, and multigas data to estimate the plume composition and flux. Unique tiltmeter data from underground tunnels at Sakurajima also provides a way to estimate the volume and mass of each explosion. In this presentation we compare the volume and mass flux estimates derived from the different methods and discuss sources of error and future improvements.