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Volcanoes’ jet-like roar 17 March 2009

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Infrasonic recordings of volcanic eruptions, when accelerated to bring the frequencies within the range of human hearing, reveal similarity to the noises made by jet engines, say the authors of a paper in Geophysical Research Letters. Such recordings could offer a new way of understanding what is going on in volcanic eruption columns, it says here.

  • R. S. Matoza, D. Fee, M. A. Garces, J. M. Seiner, P. A. Ramon, & M. A. H. Hedlin (2009), ‘Infrasonic jet noise from volcanic eruptions’, Geophysical Research Letters, in press [doi:10.1029/2008GL036486]. Link to PDF, subscribers only.

News
Volcanic roar may reveal jet physics at workNew Scientist, 16 March 2009

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1. SHIRAKAWA Akira - 17 March 2009

It’s not specified in the article, but the audio sample (“recording” as it’s called there) from the original source appears in my opinion to be a digital seismic trace converted into audio (and sped up to audible frequencies as normal broadband seismometers generally operate between 20 and 100hz). I do that often and it’s a very easy thing to accomplish, provided that you have minimal programming knowledge (or the right tools) and you know where to get seismic data. In fact, many seismologists do the same to better understand seismic traces and signals, as ears can recognize patterns better than eyes.

So the only new thing accomplished by the californian team here is really just suggesting that there may be some links between eruption “sounds” and the noise generated by a jet. Also, if the recordings come from converted digital seismometer traces, then the “as near as 13 Km” distance mentioned from isn’t all that exceptional, as many other ones for other volcanoes in the world are often placed much closer to their summit.

I may be wrong, though.


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