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Authors: Cassisi, C.* 
Prestifilippo, M.* 
Cannata, A.* 
Montalto, P.* 
Patanè, D.* 
Privitera, E.* 
Title: Probabilistic Reasoning Over Seismic Time Series: Volcano Monitoring by Hidden Markov Models at Mt. Etna
Journal: Pure and Applied Geophysics 
Series/Report no.: /173(2016)
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Issue Date: 13-Apr-2016
DOI: 10.1007/s00024-016-1284-1
Keywords: Volcano monitoring
Explosive volcanism
Timeseries analysis
Volcano seismology
Probability distributions
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.06. Volcano monitoring 
Abstract: From January 2011 to December 2015, Mt. Etna was mainly characterized by a cyclic eruptive behavior with more than 40 lava fountains from New South-East Crater. Using the RMS (Root Mean Square) of the seismic signal recorded by stations close to the summit area, an automatic recognition of the different states of volcanic activity (QUIET, PRE-FOUNTAIN, FOUNTAIN, POSTFOUNTAIN) has been applied for monitoring purposes. Since values of the RMS time series calculated on the seismic signal are generated from a stochastic process, we can try to model the system generating its sampled values, assumed to be a Markov process, using Hidden Markov Models (HMMs). HMMs analysis seeks to recover the sequence of hidden states from the observations. In our framework, observations are characters generated by the Symbolic Aggregate approXimation (SAX) technique, which maps RMS time series values with symbols of a pre-defined alphabet. The main advantages of the proposed framework, based on HMMs and SAX, with respect to other automatic systems applied on seismic signals at Mt. Etna, are the use of multiple stations and static thresholds to well characterize the volcano states. Its application on a wide seismic dataset of Etna volcano shows the possibility to guess the volcano states. The experimental results show that, in most of the cases, we detected lava fountains in advance.
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