Magnetotelluric pulses generated by volcanic lightning at Sakurajima volcano, Japan

Koki Aizawa, Akihiko Yokoo, Wataru Kanda, Yasuo Ogawa, Masato Iguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Continuous magnetotelluric (MT) measurements were conducted at Sakurajima volcano, Japan, revealing syn-eruption electric pulses (and sometimes accompanying geomagnetic pulses). Movies of the eruptions, recorded with timing provided by a GPS clock, show a large number of volcanic lightning flashes. Some MT pulses occurred simultaneously with lightning flashes. Pulses were observed more than 10 seconds after the onset of the eruption, and tend to occur during eruptions that emit volcanic ash to high altitudes. Pulses were more common during mild eruptions rather than during Vulcanian eruptions. The observations suggest that the dominant mechanism of volcanic lighting is similar to that of lightning in thunderstorms, in that it requires the collision of particles and subsequent separation of positive and negative charge.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL17301
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume37
Issue number17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2010

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lightning
volcanoes
volcanic eruptions
volcanology
Japan
volcano
volcanic eruption
pulses
flash
electric pulses
thunderstorms
volcanic ash
ashes
high altitude
thunderstorm
illuminating
clocks
GPS
collision
time measurement

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

Magnetotelluric pulses generated by volcanic lightning at Sakurajima volcano, Japan. / Aizawa, Koki; Yokoo, Akihiko; Kanda, Wataru; Ogawa, Yasuo; Iguchi, Masato.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 37, No. 17, L17301, 01.09.2010.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Aizawa, Koki ; Yokoo, Akihiko ; Kanda, Wataru ; Ogawa, Yasuo ; Iguchi, Masato. / Magnetotelluric pulses generated by volcanic lightning at Sakurajima volcano, Japan. In: Geophysical Research Letters. 2010 ; Vol. 37, No. 17.
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