A global study of volcanic infrasound characteristics and the potential for long-range monitoring

AL Dabrowa, Green DN, AC Rust, JC Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Volcanic infrasound from explosive eruptions is detectable at distances up to 1000 s of km and is often recorded on the International Monitoring System (IMS) infrasound network. Though infrasound produced by individual volcanoes has previously been studied, more general relationships between infrasound characteristics and eruption parameters remain unclear. Therefore, using a dataset comprising 110 events at 39 globally distributed volcanoes, we assess the ability of the IMS to monitor remote volcanoes and investigate whether volcanic infrasound exhibits consistent trends across a range of eruption styles and intensities. Acoustic pressure amplitude and frequency content of the volcanic infrasound were measured, and acoustic energy was also calculated. These were compared, along with the maximum distance of detection for each event, to the maximum plume height reported for the event, which was used as a proxy for event intensity. Of the events investigated 62% were detected by at least one infrasound station. The maximum distance at which an event was detected generally increased with the plume height, and infrasound produced during the eruption of Manam, PNG in January 2005, which produced a plume which rose over 20 km above the summit, was detected at a distance of 10,671 km. Total acoustic energy and acoustic pressure amplitude (corrected for geometrical spreading) increased with plume height, whilst the lowest frequency present in the volcanic infrasound decreased. Additionally, relationships seen between infrasound characteristics and eruption plume height indicate that analyses of this data alone could constrain vital estimates of plume heights for otherwise un-observed eruptions. Taken together these findings indicate that if made available for this purpose in the future, the IMS infrasound network could complement existing monitoring techniques by detecting and characterising eruptions at remote volcanoes which often have no local monitoring networks.
Translated title of the contributionA global study of volcanic infrasound characteristics and the potential for long-range monitoring
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369 - 379
Number of pages11
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Volume310
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011

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