Physics Department Colloquium
Dr. Sonja Behnke is a scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory and a graduate of New Mexico Tech. She will present the Physics Department colloquium. Her talk is "Volcanic Lightning Studies at Sakurajima Volcano." Explosive volcanic eruptions can be prolific producers of lightning. There is also evidence for a type of electrical discharge that may be only a few meters in length that occurs at the vent of a volcano concurrent with the onset of an eruption. In 2015, a field campaign was conducted at Sakurajima Volcano in Japan to improve our understanding of CRF. The volcano was instrumented with two seismometers, two infrasound arrays, a high sensitivity video camera, an infrared camera, two high speed video cameras, still cameras, a 10-station Lightning Mapping Array, slow and fast electric field change sensors, and a broadband very high frequency VHF antenna. With these instruments, a robust data set of both the volcanic activity and the electrical activity was collected that provided new insight into the physical mechanism of CRF. 4 p.m. in Workman 101.