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Report on Additional Reports (Unknown) — June 2003

Additional Reports

Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 28, no. 6 (June 2003)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.

Additional Reports (Unknown) Japan: Hydroacoustic signals detected during 1998-2002 in the Volcano Islands

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2003. Report on Additional Reports (Unknown) (Wunderman, R., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 28:6. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN200306-600500

Additional Reports


Lat Unknown, Unknown; summit elev. m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Robert Dziak and Christopher Fox at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (NOAA PMEL), reported that a continuous series of low-frequency, long-duration signals were recorded beginning on 18 April 1998, and then during the next 3.3 years by omnidirectional hydrophones deployed throughout the Pacific basin (see BGVN 24:11, 24:12, and 25:05). These hydroacoustic signals were detected 21 different times from April 1998 through December 1999. After a 6-month hiatus, the signals were detected 26 more times from June 2000 through August 2001 (figure 5). The authors concluded that the signals came from a source in the Volcano Islands.

see figure caption Figure 5. Maps showing location of hydrophones and islands of the Izu-Bonin and Volcano Islands groups in the western Pacific S of Japan, and source area of hydroacoustic signals during April 1998-August 2001 from Dziak and Fox (2002). (a) Approximate locations (shaded dots) of SOSUS and NOAA eastern equatorial hydrophones arrays; shaded bar shows the location of the French Polynesian Seismic Network (RSP). (b) Location of the major volcanoes in the Izu and Volcano Islands groups. (c) Location of the tremor waveforms (crossed error bars) estimated using 16 individual hydrophone stations positioned off the W coast of the United States, Hawaii, western Aleutians, and along the East Pacific Rise near the equator. The location error bars indicate the 68% confidence interval. See Dziak and Fox (2002) for additional details. Courtesy of Robert Dziak.

Dziak and Fox (2002) reported that "The character of the acoustic signals recorded from the Volcano Islands resembles tremor recorded during episodes of magmatic activity at subaerial volcanoes, suggesting that a significant magmatic, and potentially eruptive, process took place in the Volcano Islands between April 1998 and August 2001 and may occur again. To the authors' knowledge, the character of the Volcano Islands harmonic tremor with a 10-Hz fundamental and multiple overtones has not been previously recorded from a submarine volcano. Additionally, detection of harmonic tremor at teleseismic distances (>30°) is a rare occurrence for either a subaerial or submarine volcano."

Matt Fowler (Oregon State University) provided the following information on harmonic tremors from S of Japan from October 2000 to September 2002; all the tremor signals are from the same general area (figure 5) and have roughly the same frequency-time characteristics. Data through August 2001 were also reported by Dziak and Fox (2002). Possible tremors were detected on 18 and 28-31 October, 5, 9, 13, and 19 November 2000. Definite tremors were identified on 17, 22, and 30 December 2000, 13 January 2001, and 15-20 February 2001. During 21-23 February 2001 the tremors became well defined. Over the next few months tremors were only detected during 18-22 March, on 17, 21, and 24 April, and on 16 and 21 June. After another quiet interval, tremor signals were again recorded on 12, 14, 19, 22, and 30 July, and 8-10, 20, and 29 August 2001; tremors on 20 August were "excessively loud." No tremors were detected again until 26 February 2002, followed by a quiet interval until 16-19 and 31 March. Activity increased again during April-May 2002 with tremors recorded on 1, 2, 18, 20, 22, and 23 April, and 2-3, 13-16, and 21 May; "exceptionally loud" tremors occurred on 2-3 May. Additional tremors were detected on 9 June, 6-13 August, 15 August ("exceptionally loud"), and 19 September 2002.

Reference. Dziak, R.P., and Fox, C.G., 2002, Evidence of harmonic tremor from a submarine volcano detected across the Pacific Ocean basin: Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 107, no. B5, p. ESE 1-1 - 1-12.

Geological Summary. Reports of floating pumice from an unknown source, hydroacoustic signals, or possible eruption plumes seen in satellite imagery.

Information Contacts: Robert P. Dziak and Matt Fowler, Cooperative Institute for Marine Resource Studies, Hatfield Marine Science Center, Oregon State University/NOAA, 2115 SE OSU Drive, Newport, OR 97365 USA (URL: http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/).