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A new source process for evolving repetitious earthquakes at Ngauruhoe volcano, New Zealand

Abstract : Since early 2005. Ngauruhoe volcano has produced repeating low-frequency earthquakes with evolving waveforms and spectral features which become progressively enriched in higher frequency energy during the period 2005 to 2009, with the trend reversing after that time. The earthquakes also show a seasonal cycle since January 2006, with peak numbers of events occurring in the spring and summer period and lower numbers of events at other times. We explain these patterns by the excitation of a shallow two-phase water/gas or water/steam cavity having temporal variations in volume fraction of bubbles. Such variations in two-phase systems are known to produce a large range of acoustic velocities (2-300 m/s) and corresponding changes in impedance contrast. We suggest that an increasing bubble volume fraction is caused by progressive heating of melt water in the resonant cavity system which, in turn, promotes the scattering excitation of higher frequencies, explaining both spectral shift and seasonal dependence. We have conducted a constrained waveform inversion and grid search for moment, position and source geometry for the onset of two example earthquakes occurring 17 and 19 January 2008, a time when events showed a frequency enrichment episode occurring over a period of a few days. The inversion and associated error analysis, in conjunction with an earthquake phase analysis show that the two earthquakes represent an excitation of a single source position and geometry. The observed spectral changes from a stationary earthquake source and geometry suggest that an evolution in both near source resonance and scattering is occurring over periods from days to months.
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https://hal-brgm.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00847793
Contributeur : Anne-Marie Pouget <>
Soumis le : mercredi 24 juillet 2013 - 14:43:52
Dernière modification le : vendredi 18 septembre 2020 - 08:42:04

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A. D. Jolly, J. Neuberg, Philippe Jousset, S. Sherburn. A new source process for evolving repetitious earthquakes at Ngauruhoe volcano, New Zealand. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, Elsevier, 2012, 215, pp.26-39. ⟨10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2011.11.010⟩. ⟨hal-00847793⟩

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