12,000

We have over 12,000 students, from over 100 countries, within one of the safest campuses in the UK

93%

93% of Lancaster students go into work or further study within six months of graduating

Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Volcanic plume monitoring using atmospheric ele...
View graph of relations

« Back

Volcanic plume monitoring using atmospheric electric potential gradients.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date1998
JournalJournal of the Geological Society
Journal number4
Volume155
Number of pages4
Pages587-590
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

By monitoring perturbations of the natural atmospheric electric potential gradient, it is possible to detect and track particle laden volcanic plumes. The perturbations are produced by electrical charge that resides on the solid particles and liquid droplets of the plume, and the ions within it. A network of potential gradient monitoring stations around a volcano can provide data on eruption time, magnitude, plume dispersion direction and areas of ashfall. Our laboratory experiments have produced electrically charged ash by fragmenting pumice. These results support the theory that charging is due to the magma fragmentation process and should therefore be ubiquitous in all particulate volcanic plumes.