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Mass variations in response to magmatic stress changes at soufrière Hills Volcano Montserrat (W. I.): insights from 4-D gravity data

AuthorsHautmann, S.; Gottsmann, Joachim ; Camacho, Antonio G. ; Fournier, N.; Sacks, I. S.; Sparks, R. Stephen J.
KeywordsDynamic gravity
Soufrière Hills Volcano
Fault zone
Fluid migration
Volcano-tectonic interaction
Issue Date15-Feb-2010
CitationEarth and Planetary Science Letters 290 (1-2): 83-89 (2010)
AbstractThe eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano (Montserrat, West Indies) has been ongoing for more than a decade, yet routine monitoring of the activity did not include gravity surveillance for most of the time. In June/July 2006, we installed a new elevation-controlled microgravity network, which we re-occupied in January/February 2007 and August/September 2008. Residual gravity changes of up to 74 µGal between the surveys allow us to infer net mass and/or density changes beneath the central part of the island. Data inversion for causative source parameters indicates mass changes along NW–SE elongated structures beneath the Centre Hills at a minimum depth of 700 m. We suggest the observed gravity variations to be related to poroelastic dynamics involving groundwater migration and/or fracture opening/closing along a hitherto unrecognized fault zone. The perturbations appear to be triggered by changes in the stress field of the shallow plumbing system of Soufrière Hills Volcano.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2009.12.004
Appears in Collections:(IAG) Artículos
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