Geophysical Research Letters

Observation of infrasonic and gravity waves at Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat



[1] The sudden ejection of material during an explosive eruption generates a broad spectrum of pressure oscillations, from infrasonic to gravity waves. An infrasonic array, installed at 3.5 km from the Soufriere Hills Volcano has successfully detected and located, in real-time, the infrasound generated by several pyroclastic flows (PF) estimating mean flow speeds of 30–75 m/s. On July 29 and December 3, 2008, two differential pressure transducers, co-located with the array, recorded ultra long-period (ULP) oscillations at frequencies of 0.97 and 3.5 mHz, typical of atmospheric gravity waves, associated with explosive eruptions. The observation of gravity waves in the near-field (<6 km) at frequencies as low as about 1 mHz is unprecedented during volcanic eruptions.