Atmospheric oscillations after the May 18, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens

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Abstract

Air waves corresponding both to direct (A1) and antipodean (A2) travel paths were clearly recorded on a sensitive microbarograph at Berkeley after the violent eruption of Mount St. Helens on May 18, 1980 (see Figure 1). These unusual complementary recordings throw light on the acoustic energy released as compared with Krakatoa [Strachey, 1888], atmospheric oscillations and their attenuation, and the directive properties of the phreatic blast. The principal explosive eruptions followed closely on an earthquake, Richter magnitude 4.9, origin time 1532 GMT, centered near the volcano. Atmospheric waves and associated magnetic perturbations [Fougere and Tsacoyeanes, 1980] from these eruptions were recorded by microbarographs, seismographs, and magnetometers around the world. In particular, Ritsema [1980] has published records of the A1 atmospheric wave train and the A2 wave (called B1 by him) recorded at De Bilt, Holland. The A2 waves at De Bilt, however, are barely visible on the paper record.

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