Multi-year regional infrasound detection of Tungurahua, El Reventador, and Sangay volcanoes in Ecuador from 2006 to 2013

Hugo D. Ortiz, Robin S. Matoza, Charusheela Garapaty, Kaelynn Rose, Patricio Ramón, Mario C. Ruiz

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As part of the Acoustic Surveillance for Hazardous Eruptions project, two infrasound arrays were installed in northern and central Ecuador. The RIOE and LITE arrays were operational between 2006 and 2013, recording thousands of infrasound signals originating from eruptions of Tungurahua, El Reventador, and Sangay. We use Progressive Multi-Channel Correlation array processing together with hierarchical clustering to identify and associate impulsive infrasound signals with each volcano. Infrasound detections correspond to quasi-continuous activity of Sangay between mid 2006 and mid 2012, at least thirteen periods of activity of Tungurahua between 2006 and mid 2012, and strong signals from El Reventador in early 2008. We validate our detections using satellite observations from the MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) volcano detection algorithm (MODVOLC) and independent eruption catalogs. For Sangay, we find a good agreement between our infrasound detections and MODVOLC triggers, whereas for El Reventador the agreement is fair. We attribute the fair correspondence at El Reventador to the low-temporal resolution of MODIS data and frequent cloud cover in the region that reduce satellite observational capability. Finally, our study highlights the benefits of infrasound arrays for monitoring volcanoes in Ecuador at regional distances, while further investigating the processes that limit volcanic infrasound detection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number022003
JournalProceedings of Meetings on Acoustics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 17 Feb 2021
Event18th International Symposium on Long Range Sound Propagation, LRSP 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: 3 Aug 20204 Aug 2020

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