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Title

Volcanic tremors: Good indicators of change in plumbing systems during volcanic eruptions

AuthorsTárraga, Marta ; Martí Molist, Joan ; Abella, Rafael; Carniel, R.; López, Carmen
KeywordsPlumbing System
Eruption Dynamics
El Hierro
Volcanic Tremor
Issue Date31-Jan-2014
AbstractGeophysical and geochemical signals recorded during episodes of unrest preceding volcanic eruptions provide information on movements of magma inside the lithosphere and on how magma prepares to reach the surface. When the eruption ensues continuous volcanic monitoring can reveal the nature of changes occurring in the volcano’s plumbing system, which may be correlated with changes in both eruption behaviour and products. During the 2011–2012 submarine eruption of El Hierro (Canary Islands), the seismic signal, surface deformation, a broad stain on the sea surface of the eruption site, and the occasional appearance of floating lava balloons and pyroclastic fragments were the main observable signs. A strong continuous tremor in the vent accompanied the eruption and varied significantly in amplitude, frequency and dynamical parameters. We analysed these variations and correlated them with changes in the distribution of earthquakes and in the petrology of the erupting magma. This enabled us to relate variations in tremors to changes in the (i) stress conditions of the plumbing system, (ii) dimensions of the conduit and vent, (iii) intensity of the explosive episodes, and to (iv) rheological changes in the erupting magma. The results obtained show how the tremor signal was strongly influenced by stress changes in the host rock and in the rheological variations in the erupting magma. We conclude that the tracking of real-time syn-eruptive tremor signals via the observation of variations in plumbing systems and magma physics is a potentially effective tool for interpreting eruption dynamics, and suggest that similar variations observed in pre-eruptive tremors will have a similar origin.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2014.01.003
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/90277
DOIhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2014.01.003
ISSN0377-0273
Appears in Collections:(ICTJA) Artículos
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