Volcanic mountains

Combine muography with existing technology to improve volcanic eruption forecasting


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An international team of researchers proposes that vulcanologists consider using muography with existing technology to improve predictions of volcanic eruptions. In their article published in Proceedings of the Royal Society A, the group describes ways they think muography could be combined with existing technology to provide vulcanologists with more information about the state of a given volcano.

Muons are subatomic particles that are created when cosmic rays hit Earth’s atmosphere and collide with its atoms. As muons rain down on the planet, they pass through everything on the surface and below. But because some materials are denser than others, some of the muons may be lost. This led to the idea of ​​using them to measure the density of objects, to help find a hidden room in the Great Pyramid, for example. Scientists have developed tools that can be used to measure muons, and their use has led to the science of muography. Previous research has shown that muography can be used to study certain geographic features, such as the density of matter in a mountain or a volcano. Previous research has shown that muographic tools can shed light on the makeup of a volcano, which could possibly lead to eruption predictions. In this new effort, the researchers suggest that a better approach is to use both muography and existing technology and techniques to learn even more about a given volcano and, hopefully, better predict when it might enter. eruption.

Specifically, the researchers suggest that muography be added to tools such as acoustic and thermal recording devices used to monitor volcanoes located near populated areas. Noticing certain changes in the density of materials inside a volcano could, over time, become the prelude to an eruption.

The authors also recognize that there are barriers to the use of muon detection equipment for eruption prediction, including physical barriers such as when a volcano is surrounded by an ocean or other mountains that protect it from falling muons. They also note that muon detectors are generally much more expensive than other types of sensors. They argue that despite these hurdles, using muon detection would be worth it if it saves lives and reduces property damage.


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More information:
Giovanni Leone et al, Muography as a new complementary tool in the monitoring of volcanic hazards: implications for early warning systems, Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences (2021). DOI: 10.1098 / rspa.2021.0320

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Quote: Combining Muography with Existing Technology to Improve Volcanic Eruption Forecasting (2021, November 17) Retrieved November 17, 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-11-combining-muography-technology- volcanic-eruption.html

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