Classification of seismic signals at Villarrica volcano (Chile) using neural networks and genetic algorithms


Each volcano has its own unique seismic activity. The aim of this work is to construct a system able to classify seismic signals for the Villarrica volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in South America. Since seismic signals are the result of particular processes inside the volcano’s structure, they can be used to forecast volcanic activity. This paper describes the different kinds of seismic signals recorded at the Villarrica volcano and their significance. Three kind of signals were considered as most representative of this volcano’s activity: the long-period, the tremor, and the energetic tremor signals. A classifier is implemented to read the seismic registers at 30-second intervals, extract the most relevant features of each interval, and classify them into one of the three kinds of signals considered as most representative of this particular volcano. To do so, 1033 different kinds of 30-s signals were extracted and classified by a human expert. A feature extraction process was applied to obtain the main characteristics of each of them. This process was developed using criteria which have been shown by others to effectively classify seismic signals, based on the experience of a human expert. The classifier was implemented with a Multi-Layer Perceptron (MLP) artificial neural network whose architecture and training process were optimized by means of a genetic algorithm. This technique searched for the most adequate MLP configuration to improve the classification performance, optimizing the number of hidden neurons, the transfer functions of the neurons, and the training algorithm. The optimization process also performed a feature selection to reduce the number of signal features, optimizing the number of network inputs. The results show that the optimized classifier reaches more than 93% exactitude. identifying the signals of each kind. The amplitude of the signals is the most important feature for its classification, followed by its frequency content. The described methodology can be used to classify more seismic signals to improve the study of the activity of this volcano or to extend the study to other active volcanoes of the region. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Max Chacón
Max Chacón
Full Professor