Electrical activity during the 2006 Mount St. Augustine volcanic eruptions

By: , and 



By using a combination of radio frequency time-of-arrival and interferometer measurements, we observed a sequence of lightning and electrical activity during one of Mount St. Augustine's eruptions. The observations indicate that the electrical activity had two modes or phases. First, there was an explosive phase in which the ejecta from the explosion appeared to be highly charged upon exiting the volcano, resulting in numerous apparently disorganized discharges and some simple lightning. The net charge exiting the volcano appears to have been positive. The second phase, which followed the most energetic explosion, produced conventional-type discharges that occurred within plume. Although the plume cloud was undoubtedly charged as a result of the explosion itself, the fact that the lightning onset was delayed and continued after and well downwind of the eruption indicates that in situ charging of some kind was occurring, presumably similar in some respects to that which occurs in normal thunderstorms.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Electrical activity during the 2006 Mount St. Augustine volcanic eruptions
Series title Science
DOI 10.1126/science.1136091
Volume 315
Year Published 2007
Language English
Publisher American Association for the Advancement of Science
Publisher location Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s) Volcano Hazards Program
Description 1 p.
First page 1097
Last page 1097
Time Range Start 2006-01-01
Country United States
State Alaska
Other Geospatial Southwestern Cook Inlet in the Kenai Peninsula Borough of southcentral coastal Alaska
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page