S1.2 : Cosmic-ray geotomography for volcanic hazard assessment
Constantinos D. Athanassas
Department of Geological Sciences, NTUA, Athens, Greece
Geophysical exploration of the Earth’s interior involves the introduction of some type of energy (i.e. electric, seismic or electromagnetic) and the measurement of the Earth’s response as to some physical property (i.e. electric resistivity, refraction or dielectric permittivity respectively). With the exemption of gravimetry and passive seismic tomography, which utilizes the natural microseismicity, tomography of volcanoes by cosmic rays (muography) is an alternative and inexpensive way that exploits the energy attenuation of cosmic muons crossing a volcano along different paths to gather information about its internal structure. Muography has mainly been used to explore the density variations in volcanoes and to monitor the magma kinetics therein by employing cutting-edge particle detector technologies. Muography is increasingly gaining ground in a number of geoscientific applications ranging from mining engineering to geotechnical engineering, archaeology and more. Muography has been a great success in imaging the internal structure volcanoes and monitoring volcanic eruptions such as the 2009 Asama and 2013 Satsuma-Iwojima eruptions in Japan. The latter opens up the possibility of muographic imaging of active volcanoes worldwide, including the south Aegean active volcanic arc (SAAVA). Therefore, we here promote muography as an innovative, real-time method of monitoring active volcanoes for the purposes of civil protection. By this session, we want to attract attention of specialists and broader audiences to the essentials of muography, typical case studies and future directions and promote muography as acutting-edge method for detecting and monitoring volcanic hazards. It is essential to inform the scientific community and civil protection authorities that muography is the cutting-edge method for detecting volcanic hazards in the making.