In Jan. 2003 we monitored explosions at Santiaguito Volcano (Guatemala) with thermal, infrasonic, and seismic sensors. Thermal data from 2 infrared thermometers allowed computation of plume rise speeds, which ranged from 8 to 20 m/s. Rise rates correlated with cumulative thermal radiance, indicating that faster rising plumes correspond to explosions with greater thermal flux. The relationship between rise speeds and elastic energy is less clear. Seismic radiation may not scale well with thermal output and/or rise speed because some of the thermal component may be associated with passive degassing, which does not induce significant seismicity. But non-impulsive gas release is still able to produce a high thermal flux, which is the primary control on buoyant rise speed.
Geophysical Research Letters
Johnson, Jeffrey B.; Harris, Andrew J. L.; Sahetapy-Engel, Steve T. M.; Wolf, Rudiger; and Rose, William I., "Explosion dynamics of pyroclastic eruptions at Santiaguito Volcano" (2004). Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences Publications. 56.