Transient self-potential anomalies associated with recent lava flows at Piton de la Fournaise volcano (Réunion Island, Indian Ocean)

Abstract : Self-potential signals are sensitive to various phenomena including ground water flow (streaming potential), thermal gradients (thermoelectric potential), and potentially rapid fluid disruption associated with vaporization of water. We describe transient self-potential anomalies observed over recent (< 9 years) lava flows at Piton de la Fournaise volcano (Reunion Island, Indian Ocean). Repeated self-potential measurements are used to determine the decay of the self-potential signals with time since the emplacement of a set of lava flow. We performed a 9 km-long self-potential profile in February 2004 in the Grand Brûlé area. This profile was repeated in July–August 2006. The second repetition of this profile crossed eight lava flows emplaced between 1998 and 2005 during seven eruptions of Piton de la Fournaise volcano. The self-potential data show clear positive anomalies (up to 330 mV) and spatially correlated with the presence of recent lava flows. The amplitude of the self-potential anomalies decreases exponentially with the age of the lava flows with a relaxation time of not, vert, similar 44 months. We explain these anomalies by the shallow convection of meteoric water and the associated streaming potential distribution but we cannot exclude possible contributions from the thermoelectric effect and the rapid fluid disruption mechanism. This field case evidences for the first time transient self-potential signals associated with recent volcanic deposits. It can be also a shallow analogue to understand the variation of self-potential signals in active geothermal areas and transient self-potential signals associated with dike intrusion at larger depths. The empirical equation we proposed can also be used to diagnose the cooling of recent lava flow on shield volcanoes.
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Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, Elsevier, 2009, 187 (3-4), pp.158-166. 〈10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2009.09.003〉
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Stéphanie Barde-Cabusson, G. Levieux, Jean-François Lénat, Anthony Finizola, André Revil, et al.. Transient self-potential anomalies associated with recent lava flows at Piton de la Fournaise volcano (Réunion Island, Indian Ocean). Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, Elsevier, 2009, 187 (3-4), pp.158-166. 〈10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2009.09.003〉. 〈insu-00498414〉

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