During the 2009 eruption of Redoubt Volcano, Alaska, gliding harmonic tremor occurred prominently before six nearly consecutive explosions during the second half of the eruptive sequence. The fundamental frequency repeatedly glided upward from < 1 Hz to as high as 30 Hz in less than 10 min, followed by a relative seismic quiescence of 10 to 60 s immediately prior to explosion. High frequency (5 to 20 Hz) gliding returned during the extrusive phase, and lasted for 20 min to 3 h at a time. Although harmonic tremor is not uncommon at volcanoes, tremor at such high frequencies is a rare observation. These frequencies approach or exceed the plausible upper limits of many models that have been suggested for volcanic tremor. We also analyzed the behavior of a swarm of repeating earthquakes that immediately preceded the first instance of pre-explosion gliding harmonic tremor. We find that these earthquakes share several traits with upward gliding harmonic tremor, and favor the explanation that the gliding harmonic tremor at Redoubt Volcano is created by the superposition of increasingly frequent and regular, repeating stick–slip earthquakes through the Dirac comb effect.
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Strongly gliding harmonic tremor during the 2009 eruption of Redoubt Volcano