Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Chris Gregg

Committee Members

Arpita Nandi, Mick Whitelaw


Measurement of lava effusion rates is a key objective for monitoring basaltic eruptions because it helps constrain geophysical models of magma dynamics, conduit geometry, and both deep and shallow volcano processes. During these eruptions, lava frequently travels through a single "master" lava tube. A new method and instrument for continuously monitoring the crosssectional area of lava streams in tubes and estimating the instantaneous effusion rate (IER) is described. The method uses 2 stationary very low frequency (VLF) radio receivers to measure an unperturbed VLF signal and the influence of highly conductive molten lava on that signal. The difference between these signals is a function of the cross-sectional area of molten lava and the IER. Data from a short test of the instrument are described. This methodology represents a breakthrough in the continuous monitoring of IER because it provides higher temporal resolution than competing methods at a fraction of the cost.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Geology Commons