Science For Alaska

Science for Alaska Lecture Series 2014: Feb. 11

Noisy Volcanoes: Jets, Explosions and Tremors

David Fee
Research Assistant Professor of  Volcanology and Seismology
UAF Geophysical Institute

 
Abstract:

Volcanic eruptions in Alaska pose a threat to local communities and air traffic. In addition to releasing seismic energy into the ground, erupting volcanoes produce a wide variety of sounds, particularly at low frequency. These sounds are able to travel great distances in the atmosphere and are then recorded by sensitive microphones, often providing valuable information that would otherwise not be available. Scientists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Alaska Volcano Observatory use these sounds to monitor and understand volcanic eruptions in Alaska and the North Pacific. In this presentation we will discuss the type of sounds produced by volcanoes and how scientists utilize these sounds to monitor and study volcanoes.

 
Biographical blurb:

Dr. Fee i s a Research Assistant Professor in Volcanology and Seismology department at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the Geophysical Institute. He double-majored in geology and physics at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. He went on to get his master’s degree in geophysics from the University of Wyoming in Laramie Wyoming and his doctorate in geophysics from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Dr. Fee’s research is primarily focused on using infrasound (low frequency sound waves) to characterize and understand volcanic eruptions. An important aspect of his research has been to integrate infrasound records with other geophysical techniques (e.g. seismic, satellite, thermal) to better understand eruption processes. Dr. Fee and the rest of the infrasound researchers at UAF also study infrasonic signals from large explosions, the aurora, and many other sources. He is currently a member of the Alaska Volcano Observatory, head of the IAVCEI Volcano Acoustics Commission, and part of the Volcanology and Seismology groups and Wilson Infrasound Observatories at the Geophysical Institute

 
Education

Ph.D., (Geophysics) 2010 University of Hawaii at Manoa
M.S., (Geophysics) 2004 University of Wyoming
B.A., (Geology/Physics) 2002 Whitman College

David's research is primarily focused on using infrasound (low frequency sound waves) to characterize and understand volcanic eruptions. This work enables a better understanding of volcanic eruptions, as well as contributes to hazard mitigation. Volcano acoutics is a relatively new field, and provides a unique way to monitor volcanoes and underand volcanic processes, particularly in remote and difficult to monitor regions. An important aspect of his research has been to integrate infrasound records with other geophysical techniques (e.g. seismic, satellite, thermal) to better understand eruption processes. Further, volcanic eruptions can be used to study the propagation of infrasound at a variety of source-receiver distances, which ultimately leads to a better characterization of the atmosphere. David and the rest of the infrasound researchers at UAF also study infrasonic signals from large explosions, the aurora, and many other sources. He is currently a member of the Alaska Volcano Observatory, head of the IAVCEI Volcano Acoustics Commission, and part of the Volcanology and Seismology groups and Wilson Infrasound Observatories at the Geophysical Institute.