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The recent seismo-volcanic activity at Deception Island Volcano

The recent seismo-volcanic activity at Deception Island Volcano

Deep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography

This paper reviews the recent seismic studies carried out at Deception Island, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica, which was monitored by the Argentinean and Spanish Antarctic Programs since 1986. Several types of seismic network have been deployed temporarily during each Antarctic summer. These networks have consisted of a variety of instruments, including radio-telemetered stations, autonomous digital seismic stations, broadband seismometers, and seismic arrays. We have identified two main types of seismic signals generated by the volcano, namely pure seismo-volcanic signals, such as volcanic tremor and long-period (LP) events, and volcano-tectonic (VT) earthquakes. Their temporal distributions are far from homogeneous. Volcanic tremors and LP events usually occur in seismic swarms lasting from a few hours to some days. The number of LP events in these swarms is highly variable, from a background level of less than 30/day to a peak activity of about 100 events/h. The occurrence of VT earthquakes is even more irregular. Most VT earthquakes at Deception Island have been recorded during two intense seismic crises, in 1992 and 1999, respectively. Some of these VT earthquakes were large enough to be felt by researchers working on the island. Analyses of both types of seismic events have allowed us to derive source locations, establish seismic source models, analyze seismic attenuation, calculate the energy and stress drop of the seismic sources, and relate the occurrence of seismicity to the volcanic activity. Pure seismo-volcanic signals are modelled as the consequence of hydrothermal interactions between a shallow aquifer and deeper hot materials, resulting in the resonance of fluid-filled fractures. VT earthquakes constitute the brittle response to changes in the distribution of stress in the volcanic edifice. The two VT seismic series are probably related to uplift episodes due to deep injections of magma that did not reach the surface. This evidence, however, indicates the high potential for future volcanic eruptions at Deception Island.

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Accession: 020424706

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DOI: 10.1016/s0967-0645(03)00082-1

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