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Inside Volcanoes through cosmic-ray muon tomography


Dr. Seigo Miyamoto
ERI, University of Tokyo, Japan


October 22nd, 2012

Abstract

The origin and structure of the Earth's crust is still a major question. Current measurements of the nearby crust are based largely on seismic, gravimetric and electrical  techniques. In this talk, we introduce a novel method based on cosmic-ray muons to create a direct snapshot of the density profile within a volcano (and/or other geological features).  By measuring the muon
absorption along the different paths through an object (volcano, mountain, a fault, ...), one can deduce the density profile within the object. The major feature of this
technique makes possible for us to perform a tomographic measurement by placing two or more cosmic ray detection
systems around the object. Another strong point of this technique is the possibility to carry out fulltime monitoring, since  muons are incessantly arriving, recalling they are
the most numerous energetic charged particles at sea level.