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Remote Infrasound Monitoring of Mount Etna: Observed and Predicted Network Detection Capability

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DOI: 10.4236/inframatics.2013.21001    5,406 Downloads   20,767 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Volcanic eruptions are valuable calibrating sources of infrasonic waves worldwide detected by the International Monitoring System (IMS) of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban-Treaty Organization (CTBTO) and other experimental stations. In this study, we assess the detection capability of the European infrasound network to remotely detect the eruptive activity of Mount Etna. This well-instrumented volcano offers a unique opportunity to validate attenuation models using multi-year near-and far-field recordings. The seasonal trend in the number of detections of Etna at the IS48 IMS station (Tunisia) is correlated to fine temporal fluctuations of the stratospheric waveguide structure. This observed trend correlates well with the variation of the effective sound speed ratio which is a proxy for the combined effects of refraction due to sound speed gradients and advection due to along-path wind on infrasound propagation. Modeling results are consistent with the observed detection capability of the existing regional network. In summer, during the downwind season, a minimum detectable amplitude of ~10 Pa at a reference distance of 1 km from the source is predicted. In winter, when upwind propagation prevails, detection thresholds increase up to ~100 Pa. However, when adding four experimental arrays to the IMS network, the corresponding thresholds decrease down to ~20 Pa in winter. The simulation results provide here a realistic description of long- to mid-range infrasound propagation and allow predicting fine temporal fluctuations in the European infrasound network performance with potential application for civil aviation safety.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

D. Tailpied, A. Le Pichon, E. Marchetti, M. Ripepe, M. Kallel, L. Ceranna and N. Brachet, "Remote Infrasound Monitoring of Mount Etna: Observed and Predicted Network Detection Capability," InfraMatics, Vol. 2 No. 1, 2013, pp. 1-11. doi: 10.4236/inframatics.2013.21001.

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