Temporal changes of medium properties during explosive volcanic eruption

Tae Kyung Hong, Soung Eil Houng, Eunyoung Jo

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Abstract

Volcanic evolutions typically accompany significant changes in medium properties. Monitoring the seismic properties may be useful in identifying the state of volcanic evolution. Temporal variation of shallow crustal V P/VS ratios before and during the 2009 eruption of Redoubt Volcano, Alaska, is investigated using the P and S traveltimes of local earthquakes. High VP/VS ratios of â̂1.9 are observed over a wide region in the precursory phase, suggesting the presence of partial melts in the medium at least several months before explosive eruptions. The high VP/VS ratios decrease until the early effusive phase with rates of -0.179year-1in the precursory phase (65days) and -2.147year-1in the explosive phase (40days), which is equivalent to a decrease in the bulk modulus of fluids by â̂1.1 and 7.9GPa, respectively. The decreasing VP/VS ratios in the precursory phase may be due to increasing amounts of overpressurized gas and water vapor in the medium. The rapid decrease in VP/VS ratios during the explosive phase may be caused by melt eruption and gas emission. The VP/VS ratios were observed to be nearly stationary since the early effusive phase, suggesting rare presence of melts and low levels of pore pressures with degassing. These observations suggest that monitoring VP/VS ratios may be useful to identify the eruption state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1944-1950
Number of pages7
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume41
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Mar 28

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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