Correlating the Electrification of Volcanic Plumes with Ashfall Textures at Sakurajima Volcano, Japan
Sakurajima Volcano, volcanic lightning, volcanic ash texture, vulcanian eruption, volcano monitoring
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Volcanic lightning detection has become a useful resource for monitoring remote, under-instrumented volcanoes. Previous studies have shown that the behavior of volcanic plumeelectrification responds to changes in the eruptive processes and products. However, there has not yet been a study to quantify the links between ash textures and plume electrification during an actively monitored eruption. In this study, we examine a sequence of vulcanian eruptions from Sakurajima Volcano in Japan to compare ash textural properties (grain size, shape, componentry, and groundmass crystallinity) to plume electrification using a lightning mapping array and other monitoring data. We show that the presence of the continual radio frequency (CRF) signal is more likely to occur during eruptions that produce large seismic amplitudes (>7 μm) and glass-rich volcanic ash with more equant particle shapes. We show that CRF is generated during energetic, impulsive eruptions, where charge buildup is enhanced by secondary fragmentation (milling) as particles travel out of the conduit and into the gas-thrust region of the plume. We show that the CRF signal is influenced by a different electrification process than later volcanic lightning. By using volcanic CRF and lightning to better understand the eruptive event and its products these key observations will help the monitoring community better utilize volcanic electrification as a method for monitoring and understanding ongoing explosive eruptions.
Was this content written or created while at USF?
Citation / Publisher Attribution
Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 492, p. 47-58
Scholar Commons Citation
Smith, Cassandra M.; Van Eaton, Alexa R.; Charbonnier, Sylvain J.; McNutt, Stephen R.; Behnke, Sonja A.; Thomas, Ronald J.; Edens, Harald E.; and Thompson, Glenn, "Correlating the Electrification of Volcanic Plumes with Ashfall Textures at Sakurajima Volcano, Japan" (2018). School of Geosciences Faculty and Staff Publications. 1427.