Physics Department Seminar University of Alaska Fairbanks

J O U R N A L    C L U B

Volcanic Lightning
Steve McNutt
AVO-GI Volcanologist, UAF

Lightning has been observed associated with over 200 volcanic eruptions at more than 80 volcanoes. Here we use a global observational database together with modern instrumental data to explore the systematics of volcanic lightning. We find that lightning occurs in three regimes: 1) vent discharges, short pulses when explosions are in progress; 2) near-vent lightning, km scale, directly above the vent; and 3) plume lightning, larger scale lightning very similar to thunderstorms. The role of water and ice in volcanic lightning will be highlighted.

Friday, 19 March 2010
Globe Room, Elvey Building
3:45 PM