Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Volcanic Eruption Signals Simulated In Lab For First Time

Date:
December 2, 2008
Source:
University of Toronto
Summary:
For the first time, seismic signals that precede a volcanic eruption have been simulated and visualized in 3-D under controlled pressure conditions in a laboratory. The ability to conduct such simulations will better equip municipal authorities in volcanic hot spots around the world in knowing when to alert people who live near volcanoes of an impending eruption.

For the first time, seismic signals that precede a volcanic eruption have been simulated and visualized in 3-D under controlled pressure conditions in a laboratory. The ability to conduct such simulations will better equip municipal authorities in volcanic hot spots around the world in knowing when to alert people who live near volcanoes of an impending eruption.

The international research team that conducted the experiments at the University of Toronto published its findings in an article in the journal, Science, on Oct. 10.

Scientists tested fracture properties of basalt rock from Mount Etna, the active volcano found on the island of Sicily in southern Italy. They were able to record the seismic signals that are routinely generated during earthquakes that occur before volcanic eruptions. The seismic (sound) waves recorded by the team were similar to those emitted by a church organ pipe and are ubiquitous in active volcanic regions.

"The holy grail of volcano research is to be able to predict with complete accuracy when and how exactly a volcano will erupt," said Philip Benson, Marie-Curie Research Fellow in Earth Sciences at University College London (UCL), who conducted the experiments in U of T's Rock Fracture Dynamics Facility. "We are not there yet and, frankly, we may never be able to achieve that level of detail. However, being able to simulate the pressure conditions and events in volcanoes greatly assists geophysicists in exploring the scientific basis for volcanic unrest, ultimately helping cities and towns near volcanoes know whether to evacuate or not."

Benson noted that nearly 500 million people live near enough to the Earth's 600 active volcanoes to endure physical and economic harm should a serious eruption occur. "That is why improved understanding of volcanic mechanisms is a central goal in volcano-tectonic research and hazard mitigation."

The international collaborators in the simulation experiments were Sergio Vinciguerra of the National Geophysics and Volcano Institute (INGV) in Rome, Italy; Philip Meredith of the Rock and Ice Physics Laboratory at UCL; and Paul Young, Keck Chair of Seismology and Rock Mechanics at the University of Toronto and the university's vice-president (research).

Young noted that while this particular rock fracture research focused on volcano dynamics, the knowledge generated from investigation into rock fracturing also has direct application in a wide variety of areas, such as mining, construction of buildings and bridges, oil and gas exploration and in earthquakes and other earth sciences phenomena.

Researchers used equipment funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Toronto. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Toronto. "Volcanic Eruption Signals Simulated In Lab For First Time." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081130205327.htm>.
University of Toronto. (2008, December 2). Volcanic Eruption Signals Simulated In Lab For First Time. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081130205327.htm
University of Toronto. "Volcanic Eruption Signals Simulated In Lab For First Time." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081130205327.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts

New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts

AP (July 21, 2014) New Orleans is the first U.S. city to participate in a large-scale recycling effort for cigarette butts. The city is rolling out dozens of containers for smokers to use when they discard their butts. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

AFP (July 19, 2014) A spectaCular lightning storm struck the UK overnight Friday. Images of lightning strikes over the Shard and Tower Bridge in central London. Duration: 00:23 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

AFP (July 19, 2014) As if it weren't enough that the Queen is the Sovereign of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms, she is also the owner of all Britain's unmarked swans. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins