Volcanic thunder was recorded by geophysicists during a series of violent eruptions on a Pacific island last year. The geophysicists recorded a series of violent eruptions on an island in the northern Pacific Ocean last year and recorded a volcanic thunder for the first time ever.
The thunder was created by lightning in the ash columns that emerged from the Bogoslof volcano in the Aleutian Islands. The volcanic thunder sounds were picked up by the microphones set up on another island about 40 miles away.
This is the first audio recording of a volcanic thunder
The sound of volcanic thunder has never been captured before, mainly because it is so difficult to disentangle itself from the outbursts and roars that already accompany volcanic eruptions. In the audio recording, the volcanic thunder sounds like crack and rumbles covered by the eruption’s specific sounds.
“It’s something that people who have experienced volcanic eruptions have certainly seen and heard before, but this is the first time we have definitely detected it and identified it in scientific data,” said Matt Haney, a seismologist at the Anchor Volcanic Observatory in Alaska.
The recording has been done last year but just recently the report has been published
In March and June 2017, the microphones captured the distinctive sounds of volcanic thunder, which reached Umnak three minutes after a wide network of lightning sensors detected the flashes in Bogoslof’s ash plume, according to Haney, whose work has just been published in Geophysical Research journal.
The thunder follows the lightning that is created in the plume when small particles of ice and ash collide with each other and are charged electrically in the process.
The Bogoslof volcano is located directly below the main flight routes from Asia to North America, and last year’s eruptions triggered an aviation warning, as the ash pillars rose to the sky.
With more research on volcanic thunder, scientists believe they can find more accurate ways to predict the size of volcanic plumes and, therefore, how disruptive they can be for air travel.