skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Volcanic lightning and plume behavior reveal evolving hazards during the April 2015 eruption of Calbuco Volcano, Chile

Abstract

Soon after the onset of an eruption, model forecasts of ash dispersal are used to mitigate the hazards to aircraft, infrastructure, and communities downwind. However, it is a significant challenge to constrain the model inputs during an evolving eruption. Here we demonstrate that volcanic lightning may be used in tandem with satellite detection to recognize and quantify changes in eruption style and intensity. Using the eruption of Calbuco volcano in southern Chile on 22 and 23 April 2015, we investigate rates of umbrella cloud expansion from satellite observations, occurrence of lightning, and mapped characteristics of the fall deposits. Our remote sensing analysis gives a total erupted volume that is within uncertainty of the mapped volume (0.56 ± 0.28 km3 bulk). Furthermore, observations and volcanic plume modeling further suggest that electrical activity was enhanced both by ice formation in the ash clouds >10 km above sea level and development of a low-level charge layer from ground-hugging currents.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [1];  [5];  [5];  [4];  [6]
  1. U.S. Geological Survey, Vancouver, WA (United States)
  2. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  3. Servicio Nacional de Geologia y Mineria, Temuco (Chile); Univ. de Chile, Santiago (Chile)
  4. Servicio Nacional de Geologia y Mineria, Temuco (Chile)
  5. Servicio Geologico Minero Argentino, Rio Negro (Argentina)
  6. Univ. of Oxford, Oxford (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1296681
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-16-20649
Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 43; Journal Issue: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES

Citation Formats

Van Eaton, Alexa R., Behnke, Sonja Ann, Amigo, Alvaro, Bertin, Daniel, Mastin, Larry G., Giacosa, Raul E., Gonzalez, Jeronimo, Valderrama, Oscar, and Fontijn, Karen. Volcanic lightning and plume behavior reveal evolving hazards during the April 2015 eruption of Calbuco Volcano, Chile. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. https://doi.org/10.1002/2016GL068076.
Van Eaton, Alexa R., Behnke, Sonja Ann, Amigo, Alvaro, Bertin, Daniel, Mastin, Larry G., Giacosa, Raul E., Gonzalez, Jeronimo, Valderrama, Oscar, & Fontijn, Karen. Volcanic lightning and plume behavior reveal evolving hazards during the April 2015 eruption of Calbuco Volcano, Chile. United States. https://doi.org/10.1002/2016GL068076
Van Eaton, Alexa R., Behnke, Sonja Ann, Amigo, Alvaro, Bertin, Daniel, Mastin, Larry G., Giacosa, Raul E., Gonzalez, Jeronimo, Valderrama, Oscar, and Fontijn, Karen. Tue . "Volcanic lightning and plume behavior reveal evolving hazards during the April 2015 eruption of Calbuco Volcano, Chile". United States. https://doi.org/10.1002/2016GL068076. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1296681.
@article{osti_1296681,
title = {Volcanic lightning and plume behavior reveal evolving hazards during the April 2015 eruption of Calbuco Volcano, Chile},
author = {Van Eaton, Alexa R. and Behnke, Sonja Ann and Amigo, Alvaro and Bertin, Daniel and Mastin, Larry G. and Giacosa, Raul E. and Gonzalez, Jeronimo and Valderrama, Oscar and Fontijn, Karen},
abstractNote = {Soon after the onset of an eruption, model forecasts of ash dispersal are used to mitigate the hazards to aircraft, infrastructure, and communities downwind. However, it is a significant challenge to constrain the model inputs during an evolving eruption. Here we demonstrate that volcanic lightning may be used in tandem with satellite detection to recognize and quantify changes in eruption style and intensity. Using the eruption of Calbuco volcano in southern Chile on 22 and 23 April 2015, we investigate rates of umbrella cloud expansion from satellite observations, occurrence of lightning, and mapped characteristics of the fall deposits. Our remote sensing analysis gives a total erupted volume that is within uncertainty of the mapped volume (0.56 ± 0.28 km3 bulk). Furthermore, observations and volcanic plume modeling further suggest that electrical activity was enhanced both by ice formation in the ash clouds >10 km above sea level and development of a low-level charge layer from ground-hugging currents.},
doi = {10.1002/2016GL068076},
journal = {Geophysical Research Letters},
number = 7,
volume = 43,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {4}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 8 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Changes to the turbulent kinematics of a volcanic plume inferred from lightning data
journal, May 2015

  • Behnke, Sonja A.; Bruning, Eric C.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 42, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1002/2015GL064199

Using lightning observations as a volcanic eruption monitoring tool
journal, July 2014


Observations of volcanic lightning during the 2009 eruption of Redoubt Volcano
journal, June 2013


The 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull: Lightning and plume charge structure
journal, January 2014

  • Behnke, S. A.; Thomas, R. J.; Edens, H. E.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Vol. 119, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1002/2013JD020781

Variations in column height and magma discharge during the May 18, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens
journal, October 1990

  • Carey, S.; Sigurdsson, H.; Gardner, J. E.
  • Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, Vol. 43, Issue 1-4
  • DOI: 10.1016/0377-0273(90)90047-J

Experimental generation of volcanic lightning
journal, January 2014

  • Cimarelli, C.; Alatorre-Ibargüengoitia, M. A.; Kueppers, U.
  • Geology, Vol. 42, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1130/g34802.1

The relationship between lightning activity and ice fluxes in thunderstorms
journal, January 2008

  • Deierling, Wiebke; Petersen, Walter A.; Latham, John
  • Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 113, Issue D15
  • DOI: 10.1029/2007JD009700

An objective method for the production of isopach maps and implications for the estimation of tephra deposit volumes and their uncertainties
journal, June 2015


Another look at the calculation of fallout tephra volumes
journal, January 1992

  • Fierstein, Judy; Nathenson, Manuel
  • Bulletin of Volcanology, Vol. 54, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1007/BF00278005

Transport of atmospheric water vapor by volcanic eruption columns
journal, March 1997

  • Glaze, Lori S.; Baloga, Stephen M.; Wilson, Lionel
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Vol. 102, Issue D5
  • DOI: 10.1029/96JD03125

An experiment to detect and locate lightning associated with eruptions of Redoubt Volcano
journal, August 1994


Relative detection efficiency of the World Wide Lightning Location Network: RELATIVE DETECTION EFFICIENCY OF WWLLN
journal, December 2012

  • Hutchins, M. L.; Holzworth, R. H.; Brundell, J. B.
  • Radio Science, Vol. 47, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1029/2012RS005049

Electrical Charging of Volcanic Plumes
journal, May 2008


On the formation of eruption columns following explosive mixing of magma and surface-water
journal, March 1996

  • Koyaguchi, Takehiro; Woods, Andrew W.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, Vol. 101, Issue B3
  • DOI: 10.1029/95JB01687

Lightning initiation in the anvils of two supercell storms: LIGHTNING INITIATION IN SUPERCELL ANVILS
journal, April 2009

  • Kuhlman, K. M.; MacGorman, D. R.; Biggerstaff, M. I.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 36, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.1029/2008GL036650

WWLL global lightning detection system: Regional validation study in Brazil
journal, January 2004


Inside Volcanic Clouds: Remote Sensing of Ash Plumes Using Microwave Weather Radars
journal, October 2013

  • Marzano, Frank S.; Picciotti, Errico; Montopoli, Mario
  • Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Vol. 94, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1175/bams-d-11-00160.1

A user-friendly one-dimensional model for wet volcanic plumes: WET VOLCANIC PLUME MODEL
journal, March 2007


Testing the accuracy of a 1-D volcanic plume model in estimating mass eruption rate: VOLCANIC PLUME MODELS ERUPTION RATE
journal, March 2014

  • Mastin, Larry G.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Vol. 119, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1002/2013JD020604

Modeling ash fall distribution from a Yellowstone supereruption
journal, August 2014

  • Mastin, Larry G.; Van Eaton, Alexa R.; Lowenstern, Jacob B.
  • Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, Vol. 15, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.1002/2014GC005469

Mass partition during collapsing and transitional columns by using numerical simulations
journal, June 2002

  • Neri, Augusto; Di Muro, Andrea; Rosi, Mauro
  • Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, Vol. 115, Issue 1-2
  • DOI: 10.1016/s0377-0273(01)00304-3

The volcanic explosivity index (VEI) an estimate of explosive magnitude for historical volcanism
journal, January 1982

  • Newhall, Christopher G.; Self, Stephen
  • Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 87, Issue C2
  • DOI: 10.1029/JC087iC02p01231

Why do mafic arc magmas contain ∼4wt% water on average?
journal, February 2013

  • Plank, Terry; Kelley, Katherine A.; Zimmer, Mindy M.
  • Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol. 364
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2012.11.044

Estimation of eruption source parameters from umbrella cloud or downwind plume growth rate
journal, May 2013


Interpretation of umbrella cloud growth and morphology: implications for flow regimes of short-lived and long-lived eruptions
journal, December 2015

  • Pouget, Solène; Bursik, Marcus; Johnson, Christopher G.
  • Bulletin of Volcanology, Vol. 78, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1007/s00445-015-0993-0

Ash-plume dynamics and eruption source parameters by infrasound and thermal imagery: The 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption
journal, March 2013


Eruption dynamics of the 22–23 April 2015 Calbuco Volcano (Southern Chile): Analyses of tephra fall deposits
journal, May 2016


Deposition and immersion-mode nucleation of ice by three distinct samples of volcanic ash
journal, January 2015

  • Schill, G. P.; Genareau, K.; Tolbert, M. A.
  • Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Vol. 15, Issue 13
  • DOI: 10.5194/acp-15-7523-2015

NIH Image to ImageJ: 25 years of image analysis
journal, June 2012

  • Schneider, Caroline A.; Rasband, Wayne S.; Eliceiri, Kevin W.
  • Nature Methods, Vol. 9, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.2089

Volcanic ash clusters: Tephra rafts and scavengers
journal, July 1982


The dimensions and dynamics of volcanic eruption columns
journal, February 1986


Three empirical methods for the calculation of distal volume of tephra-fall deposits
journal, July 2005


A three-dimensional numerical simulation of spreading umbrella clouds
journal, January 2009

  • Suzuki, Y. J.; Koyaguchi, T.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 114, Issue B3
  • DOI: 10.1029/2007JB005369

Aggregation-dominated ash settling from the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic cloud illuminated by field and laboratory high-speed imaging
journal, September 2011

  • Taddeucci, J.; Scarlato, P.; Montanaro, C.
  • Geology, Vol. 39, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.1130/g32016.1

Ascent dynamics of large phreatomagmatic eruption clouds: The role of microphysics: ASCENT OF LARGE-SCALE WET ERUPTIONS
journal, March 2012

  • Van Eaton, A. R.; Herzog, M.; Wilson, C. J. N.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, Vol. 117, Issue B3
  • DOI: 10.1029/2011JB008892

Hail formation triggers rapid ash aggregation in volcanic plumes
journal, August 2015

  • Van Eaton, Alexa R.; Mastin, Larry G.; Herzog, Michael
  • Nature Communications, Vol. 6, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1038/ncomms8860

Large-scale charge separation in thunderclouds
journal, January 1985


The dynamics and thermodynamics of volcanic clouds: Theory and observations from the april 15 and april 21, 1990 eruptions of redoubt volcano, Alaska
journal, August 1994


    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Volcanic Thunder From Explosive Eruptions at Bogoslof Volcano, Alaska
    journal, April 2018

    • Haney, Matthew M.; Van Eaton, Alexa R.; Lyons, John J.
    • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 45, Issue 8
    • DOI: 10.1002/2017gl076911

    Local, Regional, and Remote Seismo‐acoustic Observations of the April 2015 VEI 4 Eruption of Calbuco Volcano, Chile
    journal, May 2018

    • Matoza, Robin S.; Fee, David; Green, David N.
    • Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, Vol. 123, Issue 5
    • DOI: 10.1002/2017jb015182

    Investigating the Origin of Continual Radio Frequency Impulses During Explosive Volcanic Eruptions
    journal, April 2018

    • Behnke, S. A.; Edens, H. E.; Thomas, R. J.
    • Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Vol. 123, Issue 8
    • DOI: 10.1002/2017jd027990

    Old magma and a new, intrusive trigger: using diffusion chronometry to understand the rapid-onset Calbuco eruption, April 2015 (Southern Chile)
    journal, June 2019

    • Morgado, Eduardo; Morgan, Daniel J.; Castruccio, Angelo
    • Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, Vol. 174, Issue 7
    • DOI: 10.1007/s00410-019-1596-0

    Comparison of lake and land tephra records from the 2015 eruption of Calbuco volcano, Chile
    journal, January 2019

    • McNamara, Keri; Rust, Alison C.; Cashman, Katharine V.
    • Bulletin of Volcanology, Vol. 81, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.1007/s00445-019-1270-4

    Localised heating and intensive magmatic conditions prior to the 22–23 April 2015 Calbuco volcano eruption (Southern Chile)
    journal, March 2019

    • Morgado, Eduardo; Morgan, Daniel J.; Harvey, Jason
    • Bulletin of Volcanology, Vol. 81, Issue 4
    • DOI: 10.1007/s00445-019-1280-2

    Characteristics of thunder and electromagnetic pulses from volcanic lightning at Bogoslof volcano, Alaska
    journal, January 2020

    • Haney, Matthew M.; Van Eaton, Alexa R.; Lyons, John J.
    • Bulletin of Volcanology, Vol. 82, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.1007/s00445-019-1349-y

    Did ice-charging generate volcanic lightning during the 2016–2017 eruption of Bogoslof volcano, Alaska?
    journal, February 2020

    • Van Eaton, Alexa R.; Schneider, David J.; Smith, Cassandra M.
    • Bulletin of Volcanology, Vol. 82, Issue 3
    • DOI: 10.1007/s00445-019-1350-5

    Automated Detection of Explosive Volcanic Eruptions Using Satellite-Derived Cloud Vertical Growth Rates
    journal, December 2018

    • Pavolonis, Michael J.; Sieglaff, Justin; Cintineo, John
    • Earth and Space Science, Vol. 5, Issue 12
    • DOI: 10.1029/2018ea000410

    Modeling Ash Dispersal From Future Eruptions of Taupo Supervolcano
    journal, July 2019

    • Barker, S. J.; Van Eaton, A. R.; Mastin, L. G.
    • Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
    • DOI: 10.1029/2018gc008152

    Inferring Compressible Fluid Dynamics From Vent Discharges During Volcanic Eruptions
    journal, July 2018

    • Méndez Harper, J. S.; Cimarelli, C.; Dufek, J.
    • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 45, Issue 14
    • DOI: 10.1029/2018gl078286

    Lightning Effects on the Grain Size Distribution of Volcanic Ash
    journal, March 2019

    • Genareau, K.; Wallace, K. L.; Gharghabi, P.
    • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 46, Issue 6
    • DOI: 10.1029/2018gl081298

    Investigating the Accuracy of One‐Dimensional Volcanic Plume Models using Laboratory Experiments and Field Data
    journal, November 2019

    • McNeal, James S.; Freedland, Graham; Mastin, Larry G.
    • Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, Vol. 124, Issue 11
    • DOI: 10.1029/2018jb017224

    Sticking and restitution in collisions of charged sub-mm dielectric grains
    journal, September 2018

    • Jungmann, Felix; Steinpilz, Tobias; Teiser, Jens
    • Journal of Physics Communications, Vol. 2, Issue 9
    • DOI: 10.1088/2399-6528/aad0d2

    Short-Term Forecasting and Detection of Explosions During the 2016–2017 Eruption of Bogoslof Volcano, Alaska
    journal, September 2018

    • Coombs, Michelle L.; Wech, Aaron G.; Haney, Matthew M.
    • Frontiers in Earth Science, Vol. 6
    • DOI: 10.3389/feart.2018.00122

    Mapping Recent Shoreline Changes Spanning the Lateral Collapse of Anak Krakatau Volcano, Indonesia
    journal, January 2020

    • Novellino, Alessandro; Engwell, Samantha L.; Grebby, Stephen
    • Applied Sciences, Vol. 10, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.3390/app10020536