Bulletin of Volcanology

, 82:4 | Cite as

Seismic and hydroacoustic observations of the 2016–17 Bogoslof eruption

  • Gabrielle TeppEmail author
  • Robert P. Dziak
  • Matthew M. Haney
  • John J. Lyons
  • Cheryl Searcy
  • Haru Matsumoto
  • Joseph Haxel
Research Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. The 2016-17 shallow submarine eruption of Bogoslof volcano, Alaska


In mid-December 2016, Bogoslof volcano, Alaska, began an 8.5-month-long eruption that produced at least 70 explosions and three lava domes. Bogoslof is an emergent submarine volcano with only the very top forming a small island, so the eruptive activity mostly occurred from a vent submerged beneath a bay or lagoon. The Bogoslof eruption was recorded on regional seismic and infrasound arrays as well as by a hydrophone that was deployed locally during the second half of the eruption. Since few emergent volcanic eruptions have seismo-acoustic recordings, these observations, taken in context with satellite and other observations, provide an opportunity to greatly improve our understanding of the seismo-acoustic signals produced by these eruptions. The instruments detected a range of activity including earthquakes, tremor, and mass flow events. Earthquakes occurred before, during, after, and unassociated with explosions and also often occurred in swarms. The 47 seismically-detected swarms and 27 additional hydroacoustically detected swarms can be further broken into four types: precursory, post-eruptive, general, and tremor-dominated. Most seismic swarms were less than 10 h long, had fewer than 50 earthquakes, and had average earthquake rates below 20/h. For the explosions, we calculate a tremor magnitude, frequency index, and average frequency. The tremor magnitudes determined from the hydrophone data show a roughly linear relation to explosion plume height, though this relation was not clear in the more limited seismic data. Lastly, we categorize the activity into five eruption phases based on seismo-acoustic character—precursory, opening, explosive I, pause, and explosive II.


Volcano seismology Hydroacoustics Explosion seismicity Earthquake swarms Volcanic tremor 



We would like to thank the FWS Tiglax crew for help in deploying the hydrophone and Geoff Lebon from NOAA-PMEL and the crew of the NOAA ship R/V Oscar Dyson for the recovery. AVO staff and others provided access to their data and analyses and helpful discussions throughout the eruption, for which we are grateful. Dane Ketner provided information about the seismic data return. Andy Lau was very helpful with the hydrophone data. Brian Shiro, Robin Matoza, and Alex Iezzi provided helpful comments on the manuscript. Seismic data (network code AV) is available through the IRIS Data Management Center. Hydrophone data are available from the NOAA Pacific Marine Environment Lab upon request to the authors. This paper is NOAA-PMEL contribution number 4954. Some figures were made with the GISMO Toolbox for MATLAB (Thompson and Reyes 2018). GT was supported by the U.S. Geological Survey Mendenhall Fellowship Program. Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Supplementary material

445_2019_1344_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (718 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 718 kb)
445_2019_1344_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (24 kb)
ESM 2 (XLSX 23 kb)


  1. Bohnenstiehl DR, Dziak RP, Matsumoto H, Lau TKA (2013) Underwater acoustic records from the March 2009 eruption of Hunga Ha’apai-Hunga Tonga volcano in the Kingdom of Tonga. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 249:12–24. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Buurman H, West ME (2010) Seismic precursors to volcanic explosions during the 2006 eruption of Augustine volcano. The 2006 eruption of Augustine Volcano, Alaska, edited by Power, J.A., Coombs, M.L., and Freymueller, J.T. U.S. Geol Surv Prof Pap 1769:41–57. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Buurman H, West ME, Thompson G (2013) The seismicity of the 2009 redoubt eruption. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 259:16–30. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Carey WM (2009) Lloyd’s mirror-image interference effects. Acoust Today 5(2):14–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Coombs ML, Wech A, Haney M, Lyons J, Schneider DJ, Schwaiger H, Wallace K, Fee D, Freymueller J, Schaefer J, Tepp G (2018) Short-term forecasting and detection of explosions during the 2016–2017 eruption of Bogoslof volcano, Alaska. Front Earth Sci 6:122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Coombs ML, Wallace K, Cameron C, Angeli K, Cervelli P (2019) Overview, chronology, and impacts of the 2016-2017 eruption of Bogoslof volcano. Bull Volcanol 81:1–23. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dietz RS, Sheehy MJ (1954) Transpacific detection of Myojin volcanic explosions by underwater sound. Geol Soc Am Bull 65(10):941–956CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Drobiarz JG (2017) Interpreting the dynamics of submarine landslides through hydroacoustic modeling, West Mata volcano, NE Lau Basin. Western Washington University Masters Thesis Collection, 593Google Scholar
  9. Dziak RP, Fox CG (2002) Evidence of harmonic tremor from a submarine volcano detected across the Pacific Ocean basin. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 107(B5):ESE 1–11. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fee D, Lyons JJ, Haney MM, Wech A, Waythomas C, Diefenbach A, Lopez TM, Van Eaton AR, Schneider DJ (2019) Seismo-acoustic evidence for vent drying during shallow submarine eruptions at Bogolsof volcano. Alaska Bull Volcanol.
  11. Green DN, Evers LG, Fee D, Matoza RS, Snellen M, Smets P, Simons D (2013) Hydroacoustic, infrasonic and seismic monitoring of the submarine eruptive activity and sub-aerial plume generation at south Sarigan, May 2010. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 257:31–43. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Haney MM, Fee D, McKee KF, Lyons JJ, Matoza RS, Wech AG, Tepp G, Searcy C, Mikesell TD (2019a) Co-eruptive tremor from Bogoslof volcano, Alaska: Seismic wavefield composition at regional distances. Bull. VolcGoogle Scholar
  13. Haney MM, Van Eaton AR, Lyons JJ, Kramer RL, Fee D, Iezzi AM, Dziak RP, Anderson J, Johnson JB, Lapierre JL (2019b) Characteristics of thunder and electromagnetic pulses from volcanic lightning at Bogoslof volcano, Alaska. Bull. VolcGoogle Scholar
  14. Haxel JH, Dziak RP, Matsumoto H (2013) Observations of shallow water marine ambient sound: the low frequency underwater soundscape of the Central Oregon coast. J Acoust Soc Am 133:2586–2596. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hotovec AJ, Prejean SG, Vidale JE, Gomberg J (2013) Strongly gliding harmonic tremor during the 2009 eruption of redoubt volcano. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 259:89–99. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Iverson RM, Dzurisin D, Gardner CA, Gerlach TM, LaHusen RG, Lisowski M, Major JJ, Malone SD, Messerich JA, Moran SC, Pallister JS (2006) Dynamics of seismogenic volcanic extrusion at Mount St Helens in 2004–05. Nature 444(7118):439–443. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Johnson RH, Norris RA (1972) Significance of spectral banding in hydroacoustic signals from submarine volcanic eruptions: Myojin, 1970. J Geophys Res 77(23):4461–4469. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ketner D, Power J (2013) Characterization of seismic events during the 2009 eruption of Redoubt Volcano, Alaska. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 259:45–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kutschale H (1969) Arctic hydroacoustics. Arctic 22(3):246–264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Loewen MW, Izbekov P, Moshrefzadeh J, Coombs M, Larsen J, Graham N, Harbin M, Waythomas C, Wallace K (2019) Petrology of the 2016–2017 eruption of Bogoslof Island, Alaska. Bull Volcanol 81: 72.
  21. Lopez T, Clarisse L, Schwaiger HF, Van Eaton AR, Loewen MW, Fee D, Lyons JJ, Haney MM, Wallace KL, Searcy C, Wech AG, Schneider DJ, Graham N (2019) Constraints on eruption processes and event masses for the 2016-2017 eruption of Bogoslof volcano, Alaska, through evaluation of IASI satellite SO2 masses and complementary datasets. Bull VolcanolGoogle Scholar
  22. Lyons JJ, Fee D, Haney MM, Iezzi A (2019) Infrasound generated by the shallow submarine eruption of Bogoslof volcano, Alaska. Bull VolcanolGoogle Scholar
  23. Machado F, Parsons WH, Richards AF, Mulford JW (1962) Capelinhos eruption of Fayal Volcano, Azores, 1957–1958. J Geophys Res 67(9):3519–3529. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. McNutt SR (2005) Volcanic seismology. Annu Rev Earth Planet Sci 32:461–491. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Metz D, Watts AB, Grevemeyer I, Rodgers M, Paulatto M (2016) Ultra-long-range hydroacoustic observations of submarine volcanic activity at Monowai, Kermadec Arc. Geophys Res Lett 43:1529–1536. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Neuberg J, Luckett R, Baptie B, Olsen K (2000) Models of tremor and low-frequency earthquake swarms on Montserrat. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 101(1–2):83–104. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Nishi K (1974) Relation between micro-earthquake swarm and explosion earthquakes at Sakurajima volcano. Abstracts of Natural Disaster Science Symposium 11:345–346 (in Japanese) Google Scholar
  28. Pálmason G. (1966) Recording of earthquakes and tremors in the Vestman Islands Jan. 23,- April 11, 1964. Surtsey Research Progress Report II: 139–153Google Scholar
  29. Powell TW, Neuberg J (2003) Time dependent features in tremor spectra. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 128(1–3):177–185. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Richards AF (1963) Volcanic sounds: investigation and analysis. J Geophys Res 68(3):919–928. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Schneider D, Van Eaton A, Wallace K (2019) Satellite observations of the 2016-17 eruption of Bogoslof volcano: aviation and ash fallout hazard implications from a water-rich eruption. Bull VolcanolGoogle Scholar
  32. Schöpa A, Chao WA, Lipovsky BP, Hovius N, White RS, Green RG, Turowski JM (2018) Dynamics of the Askja caldera July 2014 landslide, Iceland, from seismic signal analysis: precursor, motion and aftermath. Earth Surface Dynamics 6(2):467–485. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Searcy C (2013) Seismicity associated with the may 2010 eruption of South Sarigan Seamount, northern Mariana Islands. Seismol Res Lett 84(6):1055–1061. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Searcy CK, Power JA (2019) Progression and character of explosive activity during the 2016/17 eruption of Bogoslof volcano. Alaska, Bull Volcanol 81.
  35. Shinohara M, Ichihara M, Sakai SI, Yamada T, Takeo M, Sugioka H., ... Nishizawa A (2017). Continuous seismic monitoring of Nishinoshima volcano, Izu-Ogasawara, by using long-term ocean bottom seismometers. Earth, Planets and Space, 69(1), 159.
  36. Sigtryggson H, Sigurðsson E (1966) Earth tremors from the Surtsey eruption 1963–1965. Surtsey Research Progress Report II: 131–138.Google Scholar
  37. Smink M (2017) ‘Evanescent wave coupling’ between the ocean and atmosphere by use of infrasound and hydroacoustic data generated by the Hunga Tonga underwater volcano eruption of 2014–2015, Master’s Thesis, Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch Instituut, 85pGoogle Scholar
  38. Talandier J (2004) Seismicity of the society and austral hotspots in the South Pacific: seismic detection, monitoring and interpretation of underwater volcanism. In: Oceanic hotspots. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp 29–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Tameguri T, Iguchi M (2019) Characteristics of micro-earthquake swarms preceding eruptions at Showa crater of Sakurajima volcano, Japan. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 372:24–33. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Tepp G (2018) A repeating event sequence alarm for monitoring volcanoes. Seismol Res Lett 89(5):1863–1876. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Tepp G, Haney M (2019) Comparison of short-term seismic precursors and explosion parameters during the 2016-17 Bogoslof eruption. Bull Volcanol 81:1–15. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Tepp G, Chadwick WW, Haney MM, Lyons JJ, Dziak RP, Merle SG, Butterfield DA, Young CW (2019) Hydroacoustic, seismic, and bathymetric observations of the 2014 submarine eruption at Ahyi seamount, Mariana arc. Geochem Geophys Geosyst 20(7):3608–3627. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Thelen W, Malone S, West M (2011) Multiplets: their behavior and utility at dacitic and andesitic volcanic centers. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 116(B8).
  44. Thompson G, Reyes C (2018) GISMO – a seismic data analysis toolbox for MATLAB [software package],, Accessed February 2018
  45. Thompson G, West ME (2010) Real-time detection of earthquake swarms at redoubt volcano, 2009. Seismol Res Lett 81(3):505–513. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Van Eaton AR, Schneider DJ, Smith CM, Haney MM, Lyons JJ, Said R, Fee D, Holzworth RH, Mastin LG (2019) Did ice-charging generate volcanic lightning during the 2016–2017 eruption of Bogoslof volcano, Alaska? Bull VolcanolGoogle Scholar
  47. Waythomas CF, Loewen M, Wallace K, Cameron C, Larsen JF (2019a) Geology and eruptive history of Bogoslof volcano. Bull VolcanolGoogle Scholar
  48. Waythomas C, Angeli K, Wessels R, Schneider D (2019b) 2016-17 evolution of the submarine-subaerial edifice of Bogoslof volcano, Alaska, based on analysis of satellite imagery. Bull VolcanolGoogle Scholar
  49. Wech A, Tepp G, Lyons J, Haney M (2018) Using earthquakes, T waves, and infrasound to investigate the eruption of Bogoslof volcano, Alaska. Geophys Res Lett 45:6918–6925CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. White RA, Miller AD, Lynch L, Power J (1998) Observations of hybrid seismic events at Soufriere Hills volcano, Montserrat: July 1995 to September 1996. Geophys Res Lett 25(19):3657–3660. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Xu W, Ruch J, Jonsson S (2015) Birth of two volcanic islands in the southern Red Sea. Nat. Commun. 6:7104.

Copyright information

© This is a U.S. government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.U. S. Geological SurveyAlaska Volcano ObservatoryAnchorageUSA
  2. 2.NOAA/Pacific Marine Environmental LaboratoryNewportUSA
  3. 3.CIMRS, Oregon State University/NOAANewportUSA

Personalised recommendations