Scientists spy on Mount Etna with fiber-optic cables

Buried fiber-optic cables at Etna's summit pick up subtle volcanic activity, potentially improving early warning systems.

Enlarge / Buried fiber-optic cables at Etna’s summit decide up refined volcanic exercise, probably bettering early warning techniques. (credit score: M.A. Gutscher)

Towering 11,000 ft above 1,000,000 people, Mount Etna is without doubt one of the most completely monitored volcanoes on Earth. Lots of of sensors dot its flanks, and for good purpose: it’s Europe’s most lively volcano, periodically spewing lava and big plumes of particles that floor planes and customarily make life depressing for these residing in its shadow.

However now scientists have been spying on Etna with an unlikely new surveillance system: fiber-optic cables, like those that carry you the Web. Writing final week within the journal Nature Communications, researchers described how they used a method often called distributed acoustic sensing, or DAS, to select up seismic indicators that standard sensors missed. This might assist enhance the early warning system that individuals within the surrounding components of Italy depend on. Hundreds of thousands extra world wide are additionally on the mercy of lively volcanoes, which create chaos whether or not they’re massive or small.

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