Radar Doppler velocimetry of volcanic eruptions: Theoretical considerations and quantitative documentation of changes in eruptive behaviour at Stromboli volcano, Italy

  • Doppler radar
  • monitoring
  • rainfall
  • volcanic eruption
  • Italy
  • The use of radar Doppler velocimetry for the observation of volcanic activity is new. We used this method to continuously observe the activity of one vent of Stromboli volcano, Italy, from the end of 2000 April until early May. During this period we recorded 702 eruptions, 132 of which occurred before a strong rain storm passed over the island on April 29. In order to interpret the recorded Doppler data we developed a program that simulates different strombolian eruption scenarios, for which we then calculate the theoretical Doppler spectra. Comparing our theoretical data with the observed data we are able to show that most of the eruptions are nearly vertical, although we did observe only one component of the eruption vector with our Doppler radar. One of the most interesting features of the data set is a significant change in eruptive behaviour that correlates with the occurrence of the rain storm: we find that on average the eruption duration increased by a factor of 2, eruptive velocities were much higher and indirect evidence indicates that the average particle diameter of the erupted material decreased. This change may have several causes, but the coincidence with the rain storm may be evidence of magma-water interaction and feedback on the volcanic activity. If the fluid source (rain) changing the eruptive style is at the surface and in near-surface layers then the main control on final eruption dynamics at Stromboli volcano must also be in rather shallow regions.
  • info:eu-repo/semantics/closedAccess
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