Dr. Boris Behncke, a volcanologist at Italy’s Etna volcano observatory whose enthusiasm for Mount Etna is highly contagious, has posted a beautiful (and unenhanced) visual and audio video of a paroxysm at Etna on April 11, 2013. Be sure to have your speakers on for this!
Let’s also look at a few other volcanic sounds that have been caught on video and shared with the public.
Mount Bromo, spring of 2011
That’s a shockwave preceding an ash emission at Mount Bromo in Indonesia during a spring 2011 eruption.
Campi Flegrei, February 2013
Sometimes volcanoes will just bubble and hiss like a leaking tea kettle, as at this new fumarole – probably caused by prior heavy rains – that opened up at Italy’s Campi Flegrei/Phlegraean Fields volcano in early 2013.
Feel free to pass along a translation in the comments, if you can. I don’t speak Italian, unfortunately.
Anyway, the volcano didn’t erupt after that. In fact, it took a break, showing no seismic activity or deformation for several weeks!
I read somewhere that these gravity flows are silent, because they travel on a current on hot gas.
This must be true, but they also are composed of rock fragments, some rather large – at least near the source of the flow – and so must generate some noise.
Here is a video that clearly picked up the distant sounds of one at Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano in 2010 (starting at around 0:28 and then with a much better microphone from around 1:33).