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Long-term mass transfer at Piton de la Fournaise volcano evidenced by strain distribution derived from GNSS network

Abstract : Basaltic volcanoes are among the largest volcanic edifices on the Earth. These huge volcanoes exhibit rift zones and mobile flanks, revealing specific stress field conditions. In this paper, we present new deformation data issued from the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) network installed on Piton de la Fournaise. Density of the GNSS stations allowed us to reach a sufficient resolution to perform a spatially significant analysis of strain at the scale of the active part of the volcano. Since 2007, summit inflation during preeruptive/eruptive sequences (summit extension/cone flanks contraction) alternates with summit deflation during posteruptive/rest periods (summit contraction/cone flanks extension) and generates a "pulsation" of the volcano. This volcano "pulsation" increases rock fracturing and damage, decreases the rock stiffness, and increases the medium permeability. The deformation regime of the mobile eastern flank evidences mass transfer in depth from the summit to the east. During the long-term summit deflation recorded between 2011 and 2014, the upper eastern flank extended steadily eastward whereas the lower eastern flank contracted. Simultaneous extension and eastward displacement of the upper eastern flank and eastward contraction of the middle and lower eastern flank contributes to build the Grandes Pentes relief, steeping the topographic slope. We relate the eastern flank topographic slope spatial variations to rock or basal friction angle changes. The lower flank contraction process is an evidence of its progressive loading by the upper eastern flank, which brings this flank closer to an eventual instability.
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Submitted on : Friday, February 18, 2022 - 2:38:34 PM
Last modification on : Sunday, February 20, 2022 - 3:34:30 AM
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Aline Peltier, Jean-Luc Got, Nicolas Villeneuve, Patrice Boissier, Thomas Staudacher, et al.. Long-term mass transfer at Piton de la Fournaise volcano evidenced by strain distribution derived from GNSS network. Journal of Geophysical Research : Solid Earth, American Geophysical Union, 2015, 120, pp.1874-1889. ⟨10.1002/2014JB011738⟩. ⟨insu-03580010⟩

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