You might not think of volcanoes as particularly musical, but they do actually generate infrasound (frequencies below the range of human hearing).
Just like a horn’s sound changes based on the shape and flare of the bell, a volcano’s sound can change according to the depth and shape of its crater.
For instance, a volcano with a deep crater might produce a deep sound, while a volcano with a shallower crater would produce a higher-pitched sound. Narrow craters also resonate for longer periods of time, while wide, dish-like craters might not resonate at all. And finally, the flare of the crater’s rim changes their sound’s ‘timbre’, or ‘colour’ – a feature we also use when describing singers’ voices.
All of which means that scientists tracking such sounds can predict when a volcano may be about to erupt, based on changes to the sound emitted – originating from changes in the shape of the volcano producing it.
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