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Recent Developments and Applications of Acoustic Infrasound to Monitor Volcanic Emissions

School of Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 3GP, UK
Departamento de Fisica Teorica y del Cosmos, University of Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain
Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, 56126 Pisa, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(11), 1302;
Received: 25 April 2019 / Revised: 15 May 2019 / Accepted: 15 May 2019 / Published: 31 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Volcanic Processes and Risk)
PDF [5174 KB, uploaded 31 May 2019]


Volcanic ash is a well-known hazard to population, infrastructure, and commercial and civil aviation. Early assessment of the parameters that control the development and evolution of volcanic plumes is crucial to effective risk mitigation. Acoustic infrasound is a ground-based remote sensing technique—increasingly popular in the past two decades—that allows rapid estimates of eruption source parameters, including fluid flow velocities and volume flow rates of erupted material. The rate at which material is ejected from volcanic vents during eruptions, is one of the main inputs into models of atmospheric ash transport used to dispatch aviation warnings during eruptive crises. During explosive activity at volcanoes, the injection of hot gas-laden pyroclasts into the atmosphere generates acoustic waves that are recorded at local, regional and global scale. Within the framework of linear acoustic theory, infrasound sources can be modelled as multipole series, and acoustic pressure waveforms can be inverted to obtain the time history of volume flow at the vent. Here, we review near-field (<10 km from the vent) linear acoustic wave theory and its applications to the assessment of eruption source parameters. We evaluate recent advances in volcano infrasound modelling and inversion, and comment on the advantages and current limitations of these methods. We review published case studies from different volcanoes and show applications to new data that provide a benchmark for future acoustic infrasound studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: acoustic infrasound; volcanic emissions; ground-based remote sensing acoustic infrasound; volcanic emissions; ground-based remote sensing

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

De Angelis, S.; Diaz-Moreno, A.; Zuccarello, L. Recent Developments and Applications of Acoustic Infrasound to Monitor Volcanic Emissions. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 1302.

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