We explore the capabilities of volcano opto-acoustics, a promising technique for measuring explosion and infrasound resonance phenomena at open-vent volcanoes. Joint visual and infrasound study at Yasur Volcano (Vanuatu) demonstrate that even consumer-grade cameras are capable of recording infrasound with high fidelity. Passage of infrasonic waves, ranging from as low as 5 Pa to hundreds of Pa, from both explosions and persistent tremor, pressurizes and depressurizes ambient plumes inducing visible vaporization and condensation respectively. Optical tracking of these pressure wavefields can be used to identify spectral characteristics, which vary within Yasur's two deep craters and are distinct for explosion and tremor sources. Wavefield maps can illuminate the propagation of blasts as well as the dynamics of persistent infrasonic tremor associated with standing waves in the craters. We propose that opto-acoustic monitoring is useful for extraction of near-vent infrasound signal and for tracking volcanic unrest from a remote distance.
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Johnson, J. B.; Boyer, T.; Watson, L. M.; and Anderson, J. F.. (2023). "Volcano Opto-Acoustics: Mapping the Infrasound Wavefield at Yasur Volcano (Vanuatu)". Geophysical Research Letters, 50(8), e2022GL102029. https://doi.org/10.1029/2022GL102029