Unlocking the potential of microgravity: A review of its role in forecasting volcanic eruptions

Picture showing volcano caused by gravity.

In a review article September 2023 published in the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, de Zeeuw-van Dalfsen and Poland argue that microgravity has untapped potential as a forecasting tool for volcanic eruptions. They conclude that the technique is currently underutilized and attention, investment, and applications at more volcanoes could help to realize its promise.

Techniques of microgravity measurements and monitoring

Picture showing gravimetry. Quad geometrics offers Gravity survey simulation.

While measurements with precision down to one μGal (one μGal is 10–8 ms–2) have been obtained at laboratory conditions for decades (e.g., Torge, 1989), recent advances have made it practically possible to carry out field surveys at such accuracy, and stationary measurement at sub-μGal precision. This increases the potential applications of gravity to smaller and deeper targets, […]

Height and precise height measurements

Picture showing height measurements

On land, subsidence or uplift can be measured with a few mm precision by InSAR, GPS or optical levelling. Deformations can also be accurately measured by tiltmeters or strain meters. Optical or electromagnetic signals hardly penetrate to the seafloor, and the tilt/strain methods require further R&D – both on land and at sea – to […]