Special Issue "Volcano Monitoring – Placing the Finger on the Pulse"

A special issue of Geosciences (ISSN 2076-3263). This special issue belongs to the section "Natural Hazards".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2019)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Nick Varley

Professor-Researcher, Faculty of Science, Universidad de Colima, Mexico
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Monitoring Strategies; Defining Eruptive Scenarios; Degassing Processes; Evaluation of Volcanic Hazards; Dome emplacement processes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Mitigation of the effects of volcanic eruptions is ever more important given the increasing number of people occupying hazardous locations. One of the most important steps in mitigating volcanic risk is forecasting the activity, for which it is necessary to understand the large range of possible eruption scenarios and their associated hazards. We need to know when and how the eruption will occur; what the hazards will be and their distribution on the ground or in the air. Usually, we know the where, since most eruptions will occur from summit vents; however, this is not the case with flank activity or distributed volcanism.

Forecasting eruptions has presented a challenge ever since the first volcano observatory commenced measurements of Vesuvius in 1841. Today, there are 79 monitoring organizations registered on the World Organization of Volcano Observatories website (www.wovo.org); however, many of these are coordinating many more individual local observatories, such as the case of Indonesia, where 76 volcano observatories are continuously monitoring 66 volcanoes.

Many active and dangerous volcanoes do not have permanent monitoring, usually it is economics that is the restricting factor. Enormous advances have recently been made in satellite-based remote sensing, whereby monitoring is carried out irrespective of international borders and responsibilities. This is helping to improve our mitigation capabilities for volcanoes with no ground monitoring network. 

Volcano monitoring is not easy. Today there are a plethora of signals that can be measured and compared. Man is pitting himself against nature, trying to make order of chaos, trying to understand what makes volcanoes tick. To win the game, it is necessary to gather the data and interpret it, as precisely as possible to be able to answer those all-important questions of when will it occur? and what will it throw at us? The search is for anomalies in the data that might represent precursors to the onset of volcanic unrest, magma ascent or the acceleration of any process that might increase the risk situation for the exposed communities. Monitoring is generally indirect, which complicates the interpretation. The only exception being gas monitoring or petrological monitoring of the magma itself.

This Special Issue will take a step back and examine the state-of-the-art of volcano monitoring, including the complete range of aspects, from the generation of the data, to its interpretation and application to generate models and ultimately forecasts. It will also scrutinize the interface between the science and the people; how are the conclusions communicated and decisions taken to reduce the risk at potentially dangerous volcanoes?

This science is incredibly multidisciplinary, including a requirement of expertise from various fields of physics, chemistry, and geology, as well as computer science and statistics, amongst other areas. If we include the communication of the messages generated for the end-user, we must add social sciences to the list. Indeed, it is important to remember that volcano monitoring is rendered useless, without effective communication to those that need to take action. The publication of Volcano Alert Levels often represents the chosen method with which to quickly and simply declare the status of a volcano, with certain appropriate actions to be taken by the authorities. 

This Special Issue will include papers on the development of equipment and techniques, new analytical methodologies, how data is interpreted, often requiring comparisons with laboratory experiments using analogue or real materials, how forecasts are made, whether they are deterministic from empirical models, or probabilistic, and finally how monitoring data is transformed into an appropriate message and delivered to the public. Coverage will be given to the more traditional monitoring methods, which fall into three areas: seismic, geodesic and geochemical, and also to more recent augmentations such as infrasound, gravity surveys, lightning detection etc. The Special Issue aims to provide a useful reference on the many facets of this complex and important topic.

Dr. Nick Varley
Guest Editor

 

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Keywords

  • Volcano monitoring
  • Eruption precursors
  • Forecast
  • Risk communication

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Some Investigations on a Possible Relationship between Ground Deformation and Seismic Activity at Campi Flegrei and Ischia Volcanic Areas (Southern Italy)
Geosciences 2019, 9(5), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9050222
Received: 19 March 2019 / Revised: 19 April 2019 / Accepted: 8 May 2019 / Published: 15 May 2019
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Abstract
In the present paper, we analyse ground tilt and seismicity at Campi Flegrei caldera and Ischia Island, two volcanic areas located in the south of Italy. These areas have been well studied for many years from a petrological, volcanological and geophysical view point. [...] Read more.
In the present paper, we analyse ground tilt and seismicity at Campi Flegrei caldera and Ischia Island, two volcanic areas located in the south of Italy. These areas have been well studied for many years from a petrological, volcanological and geophysical view point. Moreover, due to the high seismic and volcanic risk for the populations living there, they are continuously monitored by networks of geophysical and geochemical sensors. We summarize the most important results that we obtained so far, concerning the observations of relationships between seismic activity and ground tilt anomalies, focusing on the time interval 2015–2018. First, we present a detailed description of the tiltmeter and seismic networks in both the investigated areas, as well as their development and improvement over time that has enabled high quality data collection. From the joint analysis of the seismic and borehole tiltmeter signals, we often notice concurrence between tilt pattern variations and the occurrence of seismicity. Moreover, the major tilt anomalies appear to be linked with the rate and energy of volcano-tectonic earthquakes, as well as with exogenous phenomena like solid Earth tides and hydrological cycles. The analysis that we present has potential applicability to other volcanic systems. Our findings show how the joint use tilt and seismic data can contribute to better understanding of the dynamics of volcanoes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volcano Monitoring – Placing the Finger on the Pulse)
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Open AccessArticle
Increasing Summit Degassing at the Stromboli Volcano and Relationships with Volcanic Activity (2016–2018)
Geosciences 2019, 9(4), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9040176
Received: 26 January 2019 / Revised: 3 April 2019 / Accepted: 15 April 2019 / Published: 17 April 2019
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Abstract
The last increased volcanic activity of the Stromboli volcano, from 2016 to 2018, was characterized by increases in the number and frequency of crater explosions and by episodes of lava overflow. The volcanic activity was monitored utilizing CO2 soil fluxes acquired from [...] Read more.
The last increased volcanic activity of the Stromboli volcano, from 2016 to 2018, was characterized by increases in the number and frequency of crater explosions and by episodes of lava overflow. The volcanic activity was monitored utilizing CO2 soil fluxes acquired from the Stromboli summit area (STR02 station). To better understand the behavior of the shallow plumbing system of the Stromboli volcano in the period of 2016–2018, we utilized a large data set spanning from 2000 to 2018. The data in this last period confirm a long growing trend of CO2 summit degassing, already observed in the years since 2005 (reaching 23,000 g·m−2·d−1). Moreover, within this increasing trend, episodes of sudden and sharp increases in the degassing rate, up to 24.2 g·m−2·d−2 were recorded, which are correlated with the observed paroxysmal activity (increased summit explosions and overflow). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volcano Monitoring – Placing the Finger on the Pulse)
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Open AccessArticle
The University of the West Indies-Seismic Research Centre Volcano Monitoring Network: Evolution since 1953 and Challenges in Maintaining a State-of-the-Art Network in a Small Island Economy
Geosciences 2019, 9(2), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9020071
Received: 7 December 2018 / Revised: 15 January 2019 / Accepted: 21 January 2019 / Published: 30 January 2019
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Abstract
The Seismic Research Centre (SRC), formerly known as the Seismic Research Unit (SRU), of the University of the West Indies is located on the island of Trinidad in the Eastern Caribbean. The centre has been operating its volcanological and seismological surveillance network since [...] Read more.
The Seismic Research Centre (SRC), formerly known as the Seismic Research Unit (SRU), of the University of the West Indies is located on the island of Trinidad in the Eastern Caribbean. The centre has been operating its volcanological and seismological surveillance network since 1953. Since that time, the network has been upgraded five times resulting in five generations of seismic network topologies (i.e., Classes). Class 1 consisted of autonomously operated photographic recording stations, a purely analogue configuration. From Class 2 to Class 5 (current class) the network has continuously grown in scope, sophistication and capability. The evolution of the network was carried out using a combination of state-of-the-art instruments as well as trailing edge technology (e.g., analogue transmission) used in a manner that allows for sustainability. In this way, the network has been able to address the scientific and technical challenges associated with operating in an island arc subduction zone which is exposed to other natural hazards such as hurricanes. To counter its operational constrains the SRC has developed several strategies, which contribute to: (i) expand the network to meet the demand for more timely and accurate surveillance of geohazards, (ii) broaden the range of monitoring techniques (e.g., cGPS, geochemical), (iii) capture research grade scientific data and (iv) reduce operational costs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volcano Monitoring – Placing the Finger on the Pulse)
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Open AccessArticle
A Permanent, Real-Time Monitoring Network for the Volcanoes Mount Scenery and The Quill in the Caribbean Netherlands
Geosciences 2018, 8(9), 320; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8090320
Received: 4 July 2018 / Revised: 16 August 2018 / Accepted: 20 August 2018 / Published: 27 August 2018
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Abstract
The stratovolcanoes of Mt. Scenery at Saba and The Quill at St. Eustatius in the Caribbean Netherlands, with a total population of about 5200 people, are part of the active volcanic arc of the Lesser Antilles but lacked a multiparameter volcano and earthquake [...] Read more.
The stratovolcanoes of Mt. Scenery at Saba and The Quill at St. Eustatius in the Caribbean Netherlands, with a total population of about 5200 people, are part of the active volcanic arc of the Lesser Antilles but lacked a multiparameter volcano and earthquake monitoring system until the beginning of 2018. The permanent seismic network on the islands has been built up since 2006 and was expanded in 2018 with one permanent Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) sensor at each volcano and a temperature logger on Saba. We provide technical details of all equipment and the installation procedures, and we show the preliminary results of GNSS data processing. Deploying a remote, permanent network of different sensor types under tropical island conditions and sustaining access to real-time high-quality data to monitor the state of volcanoes is an underappreciated challenge. Despite the problems encountered, we operated the network with an overall availability of 84.5% in the first half of 2018 compared to 70.3% in the years before. The main unresolved problem affecting seismic data quality is related to sudden out-of-balance seismometer mass positions. We provide a complete overview of our monitoring network, the various challenges encountered, and the solutions applied, and we address future plans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volcano Monitoring – Placing the Finger on the Pulse)
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Open AccessArticle
Modelling Individual Evacuation Decisions during Natural Disasters: A Case Study of Volcanic Crisis in Merapi, Indonesia
Geosciences 2018, 8(6), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8060196
Received: 28 March 2018 / Revised: 6 May 2018 / Accepted: 24 May 2018 / Published: 30 May 2018
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Abstract
As the size of human populations increases, so does the severity of the impacts of natural disasters. This is partly because more people are now occupying areas which are susceptible to hazardous natural events, hence, evacuation is needed when such events occur. Evacuation [...] Read more.
As the size of human populations increases, so does the severity of the impacts of natural disasters. This is partly because more people are now occupying areas which are susceptible to hazardous natural events, hence, evacuation is needed when such events occur. Evacuation can be the most important action to minimise the impact of any disaster, but in many cases there are always people who are reluctant to leave. This paper describes an agent-based model (ABM) of evacuation decisions, focusing on the emergence of reluctant people in times of crisis and using Merapi, Indonesia as a case study. The individual evacuation decision model is influenced by several factors formulated from a literature review and survey. We categorised the factors influencing evacuation decisions into two opposing forces, namely, the driving factors to leave (evacuate) versus those to stay, to formulate the model. The evacuation decision (to stay/leave) of an agent is based on an evaluation of the strength of these driving factors using threshold-based rules. This ABM was utilised with a synthetic population from census microdata, in which everyone is characterised by the decision rule. Three scenarios with varying parameters are examined to calibrate the model. Validations were conducted using a retrodictive approach by performing spatial and temporal comparisons between the outputs of simulation and the real data. We present the results of the simulations and discuss the outcomes to conclude with the most plausible scenario. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volcano Monitoring – Placing the Finger on the Pulse)
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Open AccessArticle
Investigation of Preprocessing for Seismic Attenuation Profiling to Image the Earthquake Swarm Associated with the 2000 Eruption of the Miyakejima Volcano in Japan
Geosciences 2018, 8(2), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8020038
Received: 9 December 2017 / Revised: 2 January 2018 / Accepted: 20 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
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Abstract
By using profiling that focuses on seismic attenuation instead of reflectivity, we investigate geological structures in volcanic areas and fractured areas, where seismic reflections are difficult to observe. A previous study successfully visualized the hypocenter distribution of the earthquake swarm associated with the [...] Read more.
By using profiling that focuses on seismic attenuation instead of reflectivity, we investigate geological structures in volcanic areas and fractured areas, where seismic reflections are difficult to observe. A previous study successfully visualized the hypocenter distribution of the earthquake swarm associated with the 2000 Miyakejima eruption from the seismic attenuation profile of a seismic line. However, any significant geologic features were not figured out on other nearby lines. In this paper, we re-evaluated our preprocessing of the seismic reflection data, which are the input for the seismic attenuation profiling method, with an eye toward improving frequency preservation. First, deconvolution was excluded from the preprocessing sequence, because it can potentially change the frequency content of seismic data. Second, a very small NMO stretching factor of 0.1, which does not allow reflections to stretch more than 10%, was adopted to minimize the frequency distortion by NMO correction. As a result, clear high-attenuation anomalies showed up on seismic attenuation profiles of the other nearby lines, which are consistent with typical geological features known in the study area: earthquake swarm and volcanic activity. This paper demonstrates that appropriate preprocessing was able to improve the accuracy of imaging geological structures by seismic attenuation profiling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volcano Monitoring – Placing the Finger on the Pulse)
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Open AccessArticle
Investigating the Apparent Seismic Diffusivity of Near-Receiver Geology at Mount St. Helens Volcano, USA
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences7040130
Received: 16 October 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 7 December 2017 / Published: 15 December 2017
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Abstract
We present an expanded approach of the diffusive approximation to map strongly scattering geological structures in volcanic environments using seismic coda intensities and a diffusive approximation. Seismic data from a remarkably consistent hydrothermal source of Long-Period (LP) earthquakes, that was active during the [...] Read more.
We present an expanded approach of the diffusive approximation to map strongly scattering geological structures in volcanic environments using seismic coda intensities and a diffusive approximation. Seismic data from a remarkably consistent hydrothermal source of Long-Period (LP) earthquakes, that was active during the late 2004 portion of the 2004–2008 dome building eruption of Mount St. Helens Volcano, are used to obtain coefficient values for diffusion and attenuation, and describe the rate at which seismic energy radiates into the surrounding medium. The results are then spatially plotted as a function of near-receiver geology to generate maps of near-surface geological and geophysical features. They indicate that the diffusion coefficient is a marker of the near-receiver geology, while the attenuation coefficients are sensitive to deeper volcanic structures. As previously observed by other studies, two main scattering regimes affect the coda envelopes: a diffusive, multiple-scattering regime close to the volcanic edifice and a much weaker, single-to-multiple scattering regime at higher source-receiver offsets. Within the diffusive, multiple-scattering regime, the spatial variations of the diffusion coefficient are sufficiently robust to show the features of laterally-extended, coherent, shallow geological structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volcano Monitoring – Placing the Finger on the Pulse)
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Open AccessArticle
Structure of Volatile Conduits beneath Gorely Volcano (Kamchatka) Revealed by Local Earthquake Tomography
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences7040111
Received: 11 September 2017 / Revised: 27 October 2017 / Accepted: 30 October 2017 / Published: 1 November 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (17524 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Gorely is an active volcano located 75 km from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Kamchatka. In 2010–2015, it exhibited strong activity expressed by anomalously high gas emission. In 2013–2014, we deployed a temporary network consisting of 20 temporary seismic stations that operated for one year. We selected [...] Read more.
Gorely is an active volcano located 75 km from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Kamchatka. In 2010–2015, it exhibited strong activity expressed by anomalously high gas emission. In 2013–2014, we deployed a temporary network consisting of 20 temporary seismic stations that operated for one year. We selected 333 events with 1613 P-wave and 2421 S-wave arrival times to build the first tomographic model of this volcano. The seismic model was carefully verified using a series of synthetic tests. Our tomographic model provides a mechanism for volatile feeding of Gorely. An unexpected feature of the model was low Vp/Vs ratios; below 1.4 in some parts. One reason for such low Vp/Vs ratios is gas contamination due to magma degassing. In the central part of the model, directly underneath the Gorely crater, we observe a 2.5 km wide and 1.5 km thick seismic anomaly with a very high Vp/Vs ratio of up to 2. This may represent a magma reservoir with a high melt and/or volatile content. The upper limit of this anomaly, 2.5 km below the surface, may indicate the degassing level, which coincides with the most intense seismicity. Below this reservoir, we observe another columnar high Vp/Vs ratio anomaly. This can be interpreted as a conduit bringing magma and fluids from deeper sources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volcano Monitoring – Placing the Finger on the Pulse)
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