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Linking ground-based data and satellite monitoring to understand the last two decades of eruptive activity at Sangay volcano, Ecuador

Abstract : Sangay is one of the most active volcanoes in Ecuador, as it has been almost continuously erupting at least since the seventeenth century. However, because of its remote location and low associated risk to human population, little is known about its eruptions. Here we summarize Sangay's volcanic activity from January 2001 to May 2020, based on ground-based data, satellite-derived observations and chemical analysis of its erupted products. During the analyzed period, Sangay's activity changed from continuous to episodic, as revealed by seismic, thermal and ash emission data. We identified three main eruptive periods: the first, from 2001 to 2013, extruded a cumulative volume of 100 ± 50 million m3 of lava through long-lived activity; the second emitted 54 ± 27 million m3 in four short-lived episodes, which occurred once every year from 2015 to 2018; and finally, a third period since 2019, which has continuous but fluctuating intensity, and shows a significant increase in the extruded lava volume (172 ± 86 million m3 until May 31, 2020). Our results show a marked change in the eruption frequency and a significant increase in average discharge rate over time, although surface activity remained similar, with lava flows, small explosions and ash venting. We propose that three magmatic processes acted to explain the observed changes: between 2001 and 2013 the long-living low-intensity eruptions were promoted by buoyancy, while since 2019 similar but more intense activity was triggered by mass injections. In contrast, the episodic activity in between probably resulted from volatile exsolution due to crystallization (second boiling). Transitions between these three regimes are presumably the result of varying mass inflow rates. Our results provide insights into eruptive style transitions commonly observed at volcanoes of intermediate composition, such as Sangay, over a timescale of several years.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, June 1, 2022 - 3:06:43 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, June 2, 2022 - 3:39:45 AM




Francisco J. Vasconez, Silvana Hidalgo, Jean Battaglia, Stephen Hernandez, Benjamin Bernard, et al.. Linking ground-based data and satellite monitoring to understand the last two decades of eruptive activity at Sangay volcano, Ecuador. Bulletin of Volcanology, 2022, 84, ⟨10.1007/s00445-022-01560-w⟩. ⟨insu-03684626⟩



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