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Characteristics of thunder and electromagnetic pulses from volcanic lightning at Bogoslof volcano, Alaska

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We combine global detections of volcanic lightning with acoustic and hydroacoustic data to investigate novel indications of plume electrification in ground-based, geophysical data streams during the 2016–2017 eruption of Bogoslof volcano, Alaska. Such signals offer additional ways to diagnose the occurrence of volcanic lightning and confirm whether eruptive activity is producing significant amounts of ash. We discuss three signatures of lightning activity: volcanic thunder, electromagnetic pulses arising from lightning-induced voltages in cabling, and hydroacoustic signals associated with volcanic lightning. Observations of these phenomena provide additional insights into volcanic lightning activity and reveal several periods of electrical activity that were not otherwise detected during the Bogoslof eruption.

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The authors wish to thank the World Wide Lightning Location Network (http://wwlln.net), a collaboration among over 50 universities and institutions, for providing lightning location data used in this paper. We acknowledge Vaisala, Inc. (http://www.vaisala.com) for providing lightning location and peak current data from the GLD360 network. Seismic and infrasound data used in this study are available at the IRIS-DMC. Information on the availability of lightning data is given in Van Eaton et al. (2020, this issue). Hydrophone data are available from the NOAA Pacific Marine Environment Lab. Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

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Correspondence to Matthew M. Haney.

Additional information

This paper constitutes part of a topical collection: The 2016–17 shallow submarine eruption of Bogoslof volcano, Alaska

Editorial responsibility: K. Wallace; Special Issue Editor N. Fournier

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Haney, M.M., Van Eaton, A.R., Lyons, J.J. et al. Characteristics of thunder and electromagnetic pulses from volcanic lightning at Bogoslof volcano, Alaska. Bull Volcanol 82, 15 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00445-019-1349-y

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  • Volcano monitoring
  • Volcanic lightning
  • Explosive volcanism
  • Infrasound