Science Diary: Volcano – Climb

music; ambience: volcano sounds

Volcanoes could be giving us clues as to when they’ll erupt, if we knew how to listen to them. Welcome to Pulse of the Planet’s Science Diaries, a glimpse of the world of science from the inside. Milton Garces is Director of the Infrasound Laboratory at the University of Hawaii. He’s traveled to Italy to listen in to the sounds of the Stromboli Volcano. Milton is studying the infrasounds the volcano makes, the low-frequency rumbles which are inaudible to the human ear. Today, Milton is ascending to the top of the volcano’s ashy cone to replace a broken microphone.

“Every step kicks fine ash we have a full distribution of particles from sub millimeter size to big lava flows and bombs. What we call bombs are just, essentially, very large rock that got spit out of the volcanic at very high speeds, sometimes falling a few hundred meters below the crater. The ground around us is littered with bombs. We are above 500 meters at Stromboli Volcano. About 200 meters to go before where we start seeing the crater. All the vegetation is stopping. From now on, it’s all ash and rocks, bombs, assorted debris as we ascend, the ash field turns to a boulder strewn, steep incline.”

Milton Garces hopes that infrasounds can be used to predict large volcanic eruptions, giving time for the safe evacuation of people living nearby. We’ll hear more about his research in future programs. Pulse of the Planet’s Science Diaries are made possible by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

Science Diary: Volcano - Climb

Volcanoes may emit low frequency sounds prior to erupting. Scientists are using microphones to monitor these infrasounds.
Air Date:10/20/2010
Scientist:
Transcript:

music; ambience: volcano sounds

Volcanoes could be giving us clues as to when they'll erupt, if we knew how to listen to them. Welcome to Pulse of the Planet's Science Diaries, a glimpse of the world of science from the inside. Milton Garces is Director of the Infrasound Laboratory at the University of Hawaii. He's traveled to Italy to listen in to the sounds of the Stromboli Volcano. Milton is studying the infrasounds the volcano makes, the low-frequency rumbles which are inaudible to the human ear. Today, Milton is ascending to the top of the volcano's ashy cone to replace a broken microphone.

"Every step kicks fine ash we have a full distribution of particles from sub millimeter size to big lava flows and bombs. What we call bombs are just, essentially, very large rock that got spit out of the volcanic at very high speeds, sometimes falling a few hundred meters below the crater. The ground around us is littered with bombs. We are above 500 meters at Stromboli Volcano. About 200 meters to go before where we start seeing the crater. All the vegetation is stopping. From now on, it's all ash and rocks, bombs, assorted debris as we ascend, the ash field turns to a boulder strewn, steep incline."

Milton Garces hopes that infrasounds can be used to predict large volcanic eruptions, giving time for the safe evacuation of people living nearby. We'll hear more about his research in future programs. Pulse of the Planet's Science Diaries are made possible by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.