University of Oulu

Leone, G., Tanaka, H., Holma, M., Kuusiniemi, P., Varga, D., Oláh, L., Presti, D., Gallo, G., Monaco, C., Ferlito, C., Bonanno, G., Romeo, G., Thompson, L., Sumiya, K., Steigerwald, S., Joutsenvaara, J. (2021) Muography as a new complementary tool in monitoring volcanic hazard: implications for early warning systems. Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 477 (2255), 20210320.

Muography as a new complementary tool in monitoring volcanic hazard : implications for early warning systems

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Author: Leone, Giovanni1,2; Tanaka, Hiroyuki K. M.3,2,4; Holma, Marko3,5,6,7;
Organizations: 1Instituto de Investigación en Astronomía y Ciencias Planetarias, Universidad de Atacama, Chile,Western South America
2International Muography Research Organization (MUOGRAPHIX), The University of Tokyo, Japan
3Virtual Muography Institute, Global, Tokyo, Japan
4Earthquake Research Institute, The University of Tokyo, 1-1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyo, Tokyo 113-0032, Japan
5Kerttu Saalasti Institute, University of Oulu, Finland
6Muon Solutions Oy, Finland
7Arctic Planetary Science Institute, Rovaniemi, Finland
8Wigner Research Centre for Physics, Hungary
9Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia “E. Majorana”, Universitá di Catania, Via S. Sofia 64, 95123, Italy
10Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Catania, Via S. Sofia 64, 95123 Catania, Italy
11Dipartimento di Scienze Biologiche, Geologiche e Ambientali, Universitá di Catania, Corso Italia 57, 95129 Catania, Italy
12Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Osservatorio Etneo, 95125 Catania, Italy
13INAF, Osservatorio Astrofisico di Catania, Via S. Sofia 78, 95123 Catania, Italy
14Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Sheffield, UK
15Geoptic Ltd., UK
16Kansai University, Japan
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: The Royal Society, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-11-22


Muography uses muons naturally produced in the interactions between cosmic rays and atmosphere for imaging and characterization of density differences and time-sequential changes in solid (e.g. rocks) and liquid (e.g. melts ± dissolved gases) materials in scales from tens of metres to up to a few kilometres. In addition to being useful in discovering the secrets of the pyramids, ore prospecting and surveillance of nuclear sites, muography successfully images the internal structure of volcanoes. Several field campaigns have demonstrated that muography can image density changes relating to magma ascent and descent, magma flow rate, magma degassing, the shape of the magma body, an empty conduit diameter, hydrothermal activity and major fault lines. In addition, muography is applied for long-term volcano monitoring in a few selected volcanoes around the world. We propose using muography in volcano monitoring in conjunction with other existing techniques for predicting volcanic hazards. This approach can provide an early indication of a possible future eruption and potentially the first estimate of its scale by producing direct evidence of magma ascent through its conduit in real time. Knowing these issues as early as possible buy critically important time for those responsible for the local alarm and evacuation protocols.

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Series: Proceedings of the Royal Society. A, Mathematical, physical and engineering sciences
ISSN: 1364-5021
ISSN-E: 1471-2946
ISSN-L: 1364-5021
Volume: 477
Issue: 2255
Article number: 20210320
DOI: 10.1098/rspa.2021.0320
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 1171 Geosciences
Copyright information: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved. The final authenticated version is available online at