continual radio frequency, multi-variable statistics, remote sensing, Sakurajima volcano, vent discharges, volcanic lightning
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
The origin of electrical activity accompanying volcanic ash plumes is an area of heightened interest in volcanology. However, it is unclear how intense an eruption needs to be to produce lightning flashes as opposed to “vent discharges,” which represent the smallest scale of electrical activity. This study targets 97 carefully monitored plumesJapan, from June 1 to 7, 2015. We use multiparametric measurements from sensors including a nine-station lightning mapping array and an infrared camera to characterize plume ascent. Findings demonstrate that the impulsive, high velocity plumes (>55 m/s) were most likely to create vent discharges, whereas lightning flashes occurred in plumes with high volume flux. We identified conditions where volcanic lightning occurred without detectable vent discharges, highlighting their independent source mechanisms. Our results imply that plume dynamics govern the charging for volcanic lightning, while the characteristics of the source explosion control vent discharges.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Was this content written or created while at USF?
Citation / Publisher Attribution
Geophysical Research Letters, v. 48, issue 11, art. e2020GL092323
Scholar Commons Citation
Smith, Cassandra M.; Gaudin, Damien; Van Eaton, Alexa R.; Behnke, Sonja A.; Reader, Steven; Thomas, Ronald J.; Edens, Harald; McNutt, Stephen R.; and Cimarelli, Corrado, "Impulsive Volcanic Plumes Generate Volcanic Lightning and Vent Discharges: A Statistical Analysis of Sakurajima Volcano in 2015" (2021). School of Geosciences Faculty and Staff Publications. 2331.