JDR Vol.14 No.5 pp. 701-712
doi: 10.20965/jdr.2019.p0701


Muographic Observation of Density Variations in the Vicinity of Minami-Dake Crater of Sakurajima Volcano

László Oláh*,†, Hiroyuki K. M. Tanaka*, Gergő Hamar**, and Dezső Varga**

*Earthquake Research Institute, The University of Tokyo
1-1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0032, Japan

Corresponding author

**Wigner Research Centre for Physics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary

January 21, 2019
May 7, 2019
August 1, 2019
muography, density imaging, volcanoes, tracking detectors, MWPC

Muography is an innovative imaging technique used for inspecting and monitoring density-length variations of large-sized natural or human-made objects based on the measurement of the absorption rate of cosmic-ray muons. The first large-sized, high-resolution muography observatory based on Multi-Wire Proportional Chamber (MWPC) technology is being developed to monitor the mass density variations in the vicinity of Minami-dake crater of Sakurajima volcano. We found that the track rates provided by five ongoing tracking systems with a total surface area of 4 m2 are stable within ±3% from the backward direction, which demonstrates that the MWPC-based Muographic Observation System (MMOS) is applicable for the detection of average density variations above 2%, which is well below the practical limit of 5%. We quantified the time resolution of the designed muography observatory by modeling the muon flux across the volcano; the average density-length variation of 5 (10)% is expected to be detected within 5–20 (2–8) days at a 1σ (68%) confidence level (CL) with an MMOS orientation of 10.86° above the horizon. An automated analysis framework was developed as a data base for raw data reconstruction, analysis, and preparation, and which is accessible via web-server. We observed a more than 2σ CL decrease in average density across the West side of Crater A during the ongoing data collection period. The observed density decrease suggests that the amount of material has decreased inside Crater A due to the consecutive eruptions of Minami-dake during the data collection period from November 30, 2018 to January 11, 2019.

Cite this article as:
L. Oláh, H. Tanaka, G. Hamar, and D. Varga, “Muographic Observation of Density Variations in the Vicinity of Minami-Dake Crater of Sakurajima Volcano,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.14, No.5, pp. 701-712, 2019.
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