Local Seismic and Infrasound Observations of the 2009 Explosive Eruptions of Redoubt Volcano, Alaska

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explosive eruptions, infrasound, seismic event, reduced displacement

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Local seismic and infrasound data are used to characterize the March–April 2009 eruptions of Redoubt volcano, Alaska. Data are from a network of ten seismic stations ranging from 2.6 to 21 km from the vent and a single infrasound sensor 12.2 km from the vent. Measurements were made for more than 30 explosive eruptions including the 19 numbered events that were identified during the eruption response. More than 30 smaller explosions were also identified. Measured parameters include onset time, duration, reduced displacement (DR), pressure, seismic energy, and acoustic energy. Results were compared with complementary gas and lightning data. Based on ratios of pressure to DR and acoustic to seismic energy we find that the initial group of explosive eruptions on 23–24 March was relatively stronger seismically and included the four highest DR values. We infer that these represent vent enlargement or stronger coupling between the magma and wall rocks. One event, at 12:31 UT on 23 March had an extremely high pressure of 250 Pa for the initial pulse and was likely weakly seismically coupled. A second group of explosive eruptions on 27–29 March was relatively stronger acoustically. Deposits were finer grained and of different lithology, with less scoria and more dense clasts. These two groups may represent different modes of gas release. Cumulative acoustic energy as a function of time correlates well with comparable lightning and SO2 data, suggesting that all three provide insight regarding different factors of gas release for the eruption as a whole. The number of events identified depends on criteria measured, and depends on the goals of the investigations. Overall the eruptions were substantially stronger than recent eruptions in Alaska, with some durations exceeding 1 h and pressures an order of magnitude higher.

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Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 259, p. 63-76