Simulation and Inversion of Harmonic Infrasound From Open-Vent Volcanoes Using an Efficient Quasi-1D Crater Model
Volcanic activity excites low frequency acoustic waves, termed infrasound, in the atmosphere. Infrasound observations can be used to provide constraints on eruption properties, such as crater geometry and volume flux. At open-vent volcanoes, such as Erebus (Antarctica) and Villarrica (Chile), the infrasound signal is modulated by the crater properties. Eruptive activity at the bottom of the crater, such as unsteady degassing or explosions, can excite the air mass within the crater into resonance leading to infrasound generation with signals possessing clear spectral peaks, termed harmonics. Therefore, the effect of the crater on the infrasound signal, or crater acoustic response, must be accounted for when inverting harmonic infrasound observations for eruption properties at open-vent volcanoes. Here we develop a linearized model of quasione-dimensional (1D) wave propagation inside volcanic crater coupled with 3D axisymmetric radiation into the atmosphere from the crater, with waves generated by a volumetric flow rate source at the bottom of the crater. We perform simulations for a range of volcanic crater geometries, temperature profiles, gas compositions, and source descriptions to explore the influence of these properties on the infrasound signal. The observed infrasound signal depends on the flow rate source-time function, but interference of up- and down-going waves within the crater selectively amplifies the signal at the resonant frequencies of the crater. The crater resonance model presented here is verified by comparison with an established threedimensional (3D) infrasound code and is shown to be appropriate for realistic crater geometries when the crater radius is less than approximately one quarter of the acoustic wavelength. The model presented here is more computationally efficient and can be used to invert infrasound observations for a range of properties, such as crater geometry or volumetric flow rate associated with eruptions. We demonstrate the utility of our efficient modeling framework by inverting harmonic infrasound observations for the crater geometry and position of the lava lake at Villarrica volcano. This technique may be used at other open-vent volcanoes to constrain dynamic crater geometry and provide insights about lava lake motions and infrasound producing eruption sources.
Watson, Leighton M.; Dunham, Eric M.; and Johnson, Jeffrey B. (2019). "Simulation and Inversion of Harmonic Infrasound from Open-Vent Volcanoes Using an Efficient Quasi-1D Crater Model". Journal of Volcanology and Geothermany Research, 380, 64-79. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2019.05.007