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Seismicity and deformation induced by magma accumulation at three basaltic volcanoes

Abstract : We analyzed the evolution of volcano-tectonic (VT) seismicity and deformation at three basaltic volcanoes (Kilauea, Mauna Loa, Piton de la Fournaise) during phases of magma accumulation. We observed that the VT earthquake activity displays an accelerating evolution at the three studied volcanoes during the time of magma accumulation. At the same times, deformation rates recorded at the summit of Kilauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes were not accelerating but rather tend to decay. To interpret these observations, we propose a physical model describing the evolution of pressure produced by the accumulation of magma into a reservoir. This variation of pressure is then used to force a simple model of damage, where damage episodes are equivalent to earthquakes. This model leads to an exponential increase of the VT activity and to an exponential decay of the deformation rate during accumulation phases. Seismicity and deformation data are well fitted by such an exponential model. The time constant, deduced from the exponential increase of the seismicity, is in agreement with the time constant predicted by the model of magma accumulation. This VT activity can thus be a direct indication of the accumulation of magma at depth, and therefore can be seen as a long-term precursory phenomenon, at least for the three studied basaltic volcanoes. Unfortunately, it does not allow the prediction of the onset of future eruptions, as no diverging point (i.e., critical time) is present in the model.
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O. Lengline, David Marsan, Jean-Luc Got, V. Pinel, V. Ferrazzini, et al.. Seismicity and deformation induced by magma accumulation at three basaltic volcanoes. Journal of Geophysical Research : Solid Earth, American Geophysical Union, 2008, 113 (B12), pp.B12305. ⟨10.1029/2008JB005937⟩. ⟨insu-00354253⟩

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