Science Diary: Volcano – Retrospective

music; ambience: walking through volcano ash

“Such peace and tranquility belies the inferno that awaits us at the summit. I can’t wait.”

Volcanoes could be giving us clues as to when they’ll next 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. This month a look back at some of our favorite Science Diary stories. Milton Garces is Director of the Infrasound Laboratory at the University of Hawaii. He traveled to Italy to listen to the sounds of the Stromboli Volcano. Milton is studying the infrasounds a volcano makes, the low-frequency rumbles which are inaudible to the human ear. In this recording, Milton is ascending to the top of the volcano’s 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.”

Milton Garces hopes that infrasounds can be used to predict large volcanic eruptions, and although he can monitor the volcano from a distance, microphone installations and maintenance occur on the slopes of the volcano itself.

“We are in the bomb shelter. The idea is, if there is increased activity, explosive activity, you can run underneath one of the shelters and protect yourself so you don’t get knocked down by a flying rock. The eruption you just heard now started with a lot of ash being ejected, and now it continues at a much lower level.”

Pulse of the Planet’s Science Diaries are made possible by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

music

Science Diary: Volcano - Retrospective

Climbing an active volcano is fraught with danger, and Milton Garces loves it!
Air Date:03/09/2009
Scientist:
Transcript:


music; ambience: walking through volcano ash

“Such peace and tranquility belies the inferno that awaits us at the summit. I can’t wait.”

Volcanoes could be giving us clues as to when they’ll next 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. This month a look back at some of our favorite Science Diary stories. Milton Garces is Director of the Infrasound Laboratory at the University of Hawaii. He traveled to Italy to listen to the sounds of the Stromboli Volcano. Milton is studying the infrasounds a volcano makes, the low-frequency rumbles which are inaudible to the human ear. In this recording, Milton is ascending to the top of the volcano’s 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.”

Milton Garces hopes that infrasounds can be used to predict large volcanic eruptions, and although he can monitor the volcano from a distance, microphone installations and maintenance occur on the slopes of the volcano itself.

“We are in the bomb shelter. The idea is, if there is increased activity, explosive activity, you can run underneath one of the shelters and protect yourself so you don’t get knocked down by a flying rock. The eruption you just heard now started with a lot of ash being ejected, and now it continues at a much lower level.”

Pulse of the Planet’s Science Diaries are made possible by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

music