Monitoring volcanic activity using correlation patterns between infrasound and ground motion

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Abstract

[1] This paper presents a simple method to distinguish infrasonic signals from wind noise using a cross-correlation function of signals from a microphone and a collocated seismometer. The method makes use of a particular feature of the cross-correlation function of vertical ground motion generated by infrasound, and the infrasound itself. Contribution of wind noise to the correlation function is effectively suppressed by separating the microphone and the seismometer by several meters because the correlation length of wind noise is much shorter than wavelengths of infrasound. The method is applied to data from two recent eruptions of Asama and Shinmoe-dake volcanoes, Japan, and demonstrates that the method effectively detects not only the main eruptions, but also minor activity generating weak infrasound hardly visible in the wave traces. In addition, the correlation function gives more information about volcanic activity than infrasound alone, because it reflects both features of incident infrasonic and seismic waves. Therefore, a graphical presentation of temporal variation in the cross-correlation function enables one to see qualitative changes of eruptive activity at a glance. This method is particularly useful when available sensors are limited, and will extend the utility of a single microphone and seismometer in monitoring volcanic activity.

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