MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Screams and Drums: Nature’s Score for “Götterdämmerung”?

Volcano erupting
(Credit: Oliver Spalt)
According to a report released yesterday by the University of Washington, “Some volcanoes ‘scream’ at ever-higher pitches until they blow their tops. It is not unusual for swarms of small earthquakes to precede a volcanic eruption. They can reach a point of such rapid succession that they create a signal called harmonic tremor that resembles sound made by various types of musical instruments, though at frequencies much lower than humans can hear.”

Smithsonian’s blog has a recording of an eruption sequence from March 2009 at Alaska’s Redoubt Volcano.

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