Volcanic ash database for monitoring and predicting eruption transitions
Summary of the AIST Press Release on Apr 22, 2022
We developed and released a database of volcanic ash ejected from major eruptions in Japan and abroad (Volcanic Ash Database). It is the first database that contains microscopic images of volcanic ash particles, their eruption styles, and information on volcanic activity. Volcanic ash, ejected from volcanoes and transported to distant sites, is direct evidence of eruptions and provides information essential for understanding the mechanisms of eruptions. For example, from the characteristics of ash, such as color, shape, and ash particle types, we can estimate the presence or absence of magma, the state of the magma, such as the amount of crystals and bubbles, and the style of eruption. However, as no previous database summarized the characteristics of volcanic ash, searching similar cases in the past has been an obstacle to eruption transition prediction, which requires immediacy. The database covers most of the volcanic ash from major eruptions in Japan in the 21st century as well as older eruptions and samples from eruptions overseas. More than 1,000 ash samples have been registered in this database, and more samples are being collected and recorded. This database will enable a rapid search of information on past ash samples when a new eruption occurs that will contribute to the mitigation of eruption disasters by rapidly identifying the mechanism of an eruption and predicting its transition.
Fig. 1. A volcanic ash database that includes microscopic images of volcanic ash and
information of major eruptions from Japan and abroad was developed and is available online(Volcanic Ash Database)