Seismic envelope-based detection and location of ground-coupled airwaves from volcanoes in Alaska

Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
By: , and 



Volcanic explosions and other infrasonic sources frequently produce acoustic waves that are recorded by seismometers. Here we explore multiple techniques to detect, locate, and characterize ground‐coupled airwaves (GCA) on volcano seismic networks in Alaska. GCA waveforms are typically incoherent between stations, thus we use envelope‐based techniques in our analyses. For distant sources and planar waves, we use fk beamforming to estimate back azimuth and trace velocity parameters. For spherical waves originating within the network, we use two related time difference of arrival (TDOA) methods to detect and localize the source. We investigate a modified envelope function to enhance the signal‐to‐noise ratio and emphasize both high energies and energy contrasts within a spectrogram. We apply these methods to recent eruptions from Cleveland, Veniaminof, and Pavlof Volcanoes, Alaska. Array processing of GCA from Cleveland Volcano on 4 May 2013 produces robust detection and wave characterization. Our modified envelopes substantially improve the short‐term average/long‐term average ratios, enhancing explosion detection. We detect GCA within both the Veniaminof and Pavlof networks from the 2007 and 2013–2014 activity, indicating repeated volcanic explosions. Event clustering and forward modeling suggests that high‐resolution localization is possible for GCA on typical volcano seismic networks. These results indicate that GCA can be used to help detect, locate, characterize, and monitor volcanic eruptions, particularly in difficult‐to‐monitor regions. We have implemented these GCA detection algorithms into our operational volcano‐monitoring algorithms at the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Seismic envelope-based detection and location of ground-coupled airwaves from volcanoes in Alaska
Series title Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
DOI 10.1785/0120150244
Volume 106
Issue 3
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Seismological Society of America
Contributing office(s) Volcano Science Center
Description 12 p.
First page 1024
Last page 1035
Country United States
State Alaska
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