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  1. Abstract

    Since the 1919 foundation of the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior (IAVCEI), the fields of volcano seismology and acoustics have seen dramatic advances in instrumentation and techniques, and have undergone paradigm shifts in the understanding of volcanic seismo-acoustic source processes and internal volcanic structure. Some early twentieth-century volcanological studies gave equal emphasis to barograph (infrasound and acoustic-gravity wave) and seismograph observations, but volcano seismology rapidly outpaced volcano acoustics and became the standard geophysical volcano-monitoring tool. Permanent seismic networks were established on volcanoes (for example) in Japan, the Philippines, Russia, and Hawai‘i by the 1950s, and in Alaska by the 1970s. Large eruptions with societal consequences generally catalyzed the implementation of new seismic instrumentation and led to operationalization of research methodologies. Seismic data now form the backbone of most local ground-based volcano monitoring networks worldwide and play a critical role in understanding how volcanoes work. The computer revolution enabled increasingly sophisticated data processing and source modeling, and facilitated the transition to continuous digital waveform recording by about the 1990s. In the 1970s and 1980s, quantitative models emerged for long-period (LP) event and tremor sources in fluid-driven cracks and conduits. Beginning in the 1970s, early models formore »volcano-tectonic (VT) earthquake swarms invoking crack tip stresses expanded to involve stress transfer into the wall rocks of pressurized dikes. The first deployments of broadband seismic instrumentation and infrasound sensors on volcanoes in the 1990s led to discoveries of new signals and phenomena. Rapid advances in infrasound technology; signal processing, analysis, and inversion; and atmospheric propagation modeling have now established the role of regional (15–250 km) and remote (> 250 km) ground-based acoustic systems in volcano monitoring. Long-term records of volcano-seismic unrest through full eruptive cycles are providing insight into magma transport and eruption processes and increasingly sophisticated forecasts. Laboratory and numerical experiments are elucidating seismo-acoustic source processes in volcanic fluid systems, and are observationally constrained by increasingly dense geophysical field deployments taking advantage of low-power, compact broadband, and nodal technologies. In recent years, the fields of volcano geodesy, seismology, and acoustics (both atmospheric infrasound and ocean hydroacoustics) are increasingly merging. Despite vast progress over the past century, major questions remain regarding source processes, patterns of volcano-seismic unrest, internal volcanic structure, and the relationship between seismic unrest and volcanic processes.

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  2. Abstract Infrasound data from arrays can be used to detect, locate, and quantify a variety of natural and anthropogenic sources from local to remote distances. However, many array processing methods use a single broad frequency range to process the data, which can lead to signals of interest being missed due to the choice of frequency limits or simultaneous clutter sources. We introduce a new open-source Python code that processes infrasound array data in multiple sequential narrow frequency bands using the least-squares approach. We test our algorithm on a few examples of natural sources (volcanic eruptions, mass movements, and bolides) for a variety of array configurations. Our method reduces the need to choose frequency limits for processing, which may result in missed signals, and it is parallelized to decrease the computational burden. Improvements of our narrow-band least-squares algorithm over broad-band least-squares processing include the ability to distinguish between multiple simultaneous sources if distinct in their frequency content (e.g., microbarom or surf vs. volcanic eruption), the ability to track changes in frequency content of a signal through time, and a decreased need to fine-tune frequency limits for processing. We incorporate a measure of planarity of the wavefield across the array (sigma tau,more »στ) as well as the ability to utilize the robust least trimmed squares algorithm to improve signal processing and insight into array performance. Our implementation allows for more detailed characterization of infrasound signals recorded at arrays that can improve monitoring and enhance research capabilities.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 10, 2023

    Infrasound sensors are deployed in a variety of spatial configurations and scales for geophysical monitoring, including networks of single sensors and networks of multisensor infrasound arrays. Infrasound signal detection strategies exploiting these data commonly make use of intersensor correlation and coherence (array processing, multichannel correlation); network-based tracking of signal features (e.g. reverse time migration); or a combination of these such as backazimuth cross-bearings for multiple arrays. Single-sensor trace-based denoising techniques offer significant potential to improve all of these various infrasound data processing strategies, but have not previously been investigated in detail. Single-sensor denoising represents a pre-processing step that could reduce the effects of ambient infrasound and wind noise in infrasound signal association and location workflows. We systematically investigate the utility of a range of single-sensor denoising methods for infrasound data processing, including noise gating, non-negative matrix factorization, and data-adaptive Wiener filtering. For the data testbed, we use the relatively dense regional infrasound network in Alaska, which records a high rate of volcanic eruptions with signals varying in power, duration, and waveform and spectral character. We primarily use data from the 2016–2017 Bogoslof volcanic eruption, which included multiple explosions, and synthetics. The Bogoslof volcanic sequence provides an opportunity to investigatemore »regional infrasound detection, association, and location for a set of real sources with varying source spectra subject to anisotropic atmospheric propagation and varying noise levels (both incoherent wind noise and coherent ambient infrasound, primarily microbaroms). We illustrate the advantages and disadvantages of the different denoising methods in categories such as event detection, waveform distortion, the need for manual data labelling, and computational cost. For all approaches, denoising generally performs better for signals with higher signal-to-noise ratios and with less spectral and temporal overlap between signals and noise. Microbaroms are the most globally pervasive and repetitive coherent ambient infrasound noise source, with such noise often referred to as clutter or interference. We find that denoising offers significant potential for microbarom clutter reduction. Single-channel denoising of microbaroms prior to standard array processing enhances both the quantity and bandwidth of detectable volcanic events. We find that reduction of incoherent wind noise is more challenging using the denoising methods we investigate; thus, station hardware (wind noise reduction systems) and site selection remain critical and cannot be replaced by currently available digital denoising methodologies. Overall, we find that adding single-channel denoising as a component in the processing workflow can benefit a variety of infrasound signal detection, association, and location schemes. The denoising methods can also isolate the noise itself, with utility in statistically characterizing ambient infrasound noise.

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  4. Abstract Over the past two decades (2000–2020), volcano infrasound (acoustic waves with frequencies less than 20 Hz propagating in the atmosphere) has evolved from an area of academic research to a useful monitoring tool. As a result, infrasound is routinely used by volcano observatories around the world to detect, locate, and characterize volcanic activity. It is particularly useful in confirming subaerial activity and monitoring remote eruptions, and it has shown promise in forecasting paroxysmal activity at open-vent systems. Fundamental research on volcano infrasound is providing substantial new insights on eruption dynamics and volcanic processes and will continue to do so over the next decade. The increased availability of infrasound sensors will expand observations of varied eruption styles, and the associated increase in data volume will make machine learning workflows more feasible. More sophisticated modeling will be applied to examine infrasound source and propagation effects from local to global distances, leading to improved infrasound-derived estimates of eruption properties. Future work will use infrasound to detect, locate, and characterize moving flows, such as pyroclastic density currents, lahars, rockfalls, lava flows, and avalanches. Infrasound observations will be further integrated with other data streams, such as seismic, ground- and satellite-based thermal and visual imagery, geodetic,more »lightning, and gas data. The volcano infrasound community should continue efforts to make data and codes accessible and to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in the field. In summary, the next decade of volcano infrasound research will continue to advance our understanding of complex volcano processes through increased data availability, sensor technologies, enhanced modeling capabilities, and novel data analysis methods that will improve hazard detection and mitigation.« less
  5. Abstract

    Volcanic eruption source parameters may be estimated from acoustic pressure recordings dominant at infrasonic frequencies (< 20 Hz), yet uncertainties may be high due in part to poorly understood propagation dynamics. Linear acoustic propagation of volcano infrasound is commonly assumed, but nonlinear processes such as wave steepening may distort waveforms and obscure the sourcing process in recorded waveforms. Here we use a previously developed frequency-domain nonlinearity indicator to quantify spectral changes due to nonlinear propagation primarily in 80 signals from explosions at Yasur Volcano, Vanuatu. We find evidence for$$\le$$10−3 dB/m spectral energy transfer in the band 3–9 Hz for signals with amplitude on the order of several hundred Pa at 200–400 m range. The clarity of the nonlinear spectral signature increases with waveform amplitude, suggesting stronger nonlinear changes for greater source pressures. We observe similar results in application to synthetics generated through finite-difference wavefield simulations of nonlinear propagation, although limitations of the model complicate direct comparison to the observations. Our results provide quantitative evidence for nonlinear propagation that confirms previous interpretations made on the basis of qualitative observations of asymmetric waveforms.

  6. Abstract A new episode of unrest and phreatic/phreatomagmatic/magmatic eruptions occurred at Ambae volcano, Vanuatu, in 2017–2018. We installed a multi-station seismo-acoustic network consisting of seven 3-component broadband seismic stations and four 3-element (26–62 m maximum inter-element separation) infrasound arrays during the last phase of the 2018 eruption episode, capturing at least six reported major explosions towards the end of the eruption episode. The observed volcanic seismic signals are generally in the passband 0.5–10 Hz during the eruptive activity, but the corresponding acoustic signals have relatively low frequencies (< 1 Hz). Apparent very-long-period (< 0.2 Hz) seismic signals are also observed during the eruptive episode, but we show that they are generated as ground-coupled airwaves and propagate with atmospheric acoustic velocity. We observe strongly coherent infrasound waves at all acoustic arrays during the eruptions. Using waveform similarity of the acoustic signals, we detect previously unreported volcanic explosions at the summit vent region based on constant-celerity reverse-time-migration (RTM) analysis. The detected acoustic bursts are temporally related to shallow seismic volcanic tremor (frequency content of 5–10 Hz), which we characterise using a simplified amplitude ratio method at a seismic station pair with different distances from the vent. The amplitude ratio increased at the onset of large explosions and then decreased,more »which is interpreted as the seismic source ascent and descent. The ratio change is potentially useful to recognise volcanic unrest using only two seismic stations quickly. This study reiterates the value of joint seismo-acoustic data for improving interpretation of volcanic activity and reducing ambiguity in geophysical monitoring.« less
  7. Abstract Erosion, hydrothermal activity, and magmatism at volcanoes can cause large and unexpected mass wasting events. Large fluidized debris flows have occurred within the past 6000 yr at Mount Adams, Washington, and present a hazard to communities downstream. In August 2017, we began a pilot experiment to investigate the potential of infrasound arrays for detecting and tracking debris flows at Mount Adams. We deployed a telemetered four-element infrasound array (BEAR, 85 m aperture), ~11 km from a geologically unstable area where mass wasting has repeatedly originated. We present a preliminary analysis of BEAR data, representing a survey of the ambient infrasound and noise environment at this quiescent stratovolcano. Array processing reveals near continuous and persistent infrasound signals arriving from the direction of Mount Adams, which we hypothesize are fluvial sounds from the steep drainages on the southwest flank. We interpret observed fluctuations in the detectability of these signals as resulting from a combination of (1) wind-noise variations at the array, (2) changes in local infrasound propagation conditions associated with atmospheric boundary layer variability, and (3) changing water flow speeds and volumes in the channels due to freezing, thawing, and precipitation events. Suspected mass movement events during the study period are small (volumes <105  m3 and durations <2 min),more »with one of five visually confirmed events detected infrasonically at BEAR. We locate this small event, which satellite imagery suggests was a glacial avalanche, using three additional temporary arrays operating for five days in August 2018. Events large enough to threaten downstream communities would likely produce stronger infrasonic signals detectable at BEAR. In complement to recent literature demonstrating the potential for infrasonic detection of volcano mass movements (Allstadt et al., 2018), this study highlights the practical and computational challenges involved in identifying signals of interest in the expected noisy background environment of volcanic topography and drainages.« less