Encyclopedia of Earthquake Engineering

2015 Edition
| Editors: Michael Beer, Ioannis A. Kougioumtzoglou, Edoardo Patelli, Siu-Kui Au

Seismic Monitoring of Volcanoes

  • Glenn ThompsonEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-35344-4_41


Volcano-seismic monitoring


Seismicity beneath a volcano usually increases before an eruption because magma and volcanic gas must first force their way up through fractures and passageways. When magma and volcanic gases or fluids move, they will either cause rocks to break or cracks to vibrate. When rocks break, high-frequency earthquakes are triggered. When cracks vibrate, either low-frequency earthquakes or a continuous shaking called volcanic tremor, which can last from minutes to days, occurs.

Volcanic earthquakes often occur in swarms, which are clusters in time and space of similar earthquakes without an obvious mainshock. Volcano seismologists look for changes in the rate, size, and location of earthquakes and for the occurrence of swarms and tremor to forecast eruptions and to evaluate whether a volcanic eruption is intensifying or ending. Volcanic hazards including explosive eruptions, rockfall, pyroclastic flows, and lahars also cause ground vibrations...

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of GeosciencesUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA