In Alaska, where many active volcanoes exist without ground-based instrumentation, the use of techniques suitable for distant monitoring is pivotal. In this study we report regional-scale seismic and infrasound observations of volcanic activity at Mt. Cleveland between December 2011 and August 2012. During this period, twenty explosions were detected by infrasound sensors as far away as 1827 km from the active vent, and ground-coupled acoustic waves were recorded at seismic stations across the Aleutian Arc. Several events resulting from the explosive disruption of small lava domes within the summit crater were confirmed by analysis of satellite remote sensing data. However, many explosions eluded initial, automated, analyses of satellite data due to poor weather conditions. Infrasound and seismic monitoring provided effective means for detecting these hidden events. We present results from the implementation of automatic infrasound and seismo-acoustic eruption detection algorithms, and review the challenges of real-time volcano monitoring operations in remote regions. We also model acoustic propagation in the Northern Pacific, showing how tropospheric ducting effects allow infrasound to travel long distances across the Aleutian Arc. The successful results of our investigation provide motivation for expanded efforts in infrasound monitoring across the Aleutians and contributes to our knowledge of the number and style of vulcanian eruptions at Mt. Cleveland.
Additional publication details
Detecting hidden volcanic explosions from Mt. Cleveland Volcano, Alaska with infrasound and ground-couples airwaves