Continuous and campaign-style gravimetric investigations on Montserrat 2006 to 2009
Published:January 01, 2014
Stefanie Hautmann, Joachim Gottsmann, Antonio G. Camacho, Michel Van Camp, Nicolas Fournier, 2014. "Continuous and campaign-style gravimetric investigations on Montserrat 2006 to 2009", The Eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat from 2000 to 2010, G. Wadge, R. E. A. Robertson, B. Voight
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Gravimetric time series can provide vital clues about subsurface dynamics associated with active volcanism. Here, we report on continuous and campaign-style gravimetric observations on Montserrat between 2006 and 2009. More than 240 days of continuous gravimetric records enabled us to derive a first local joint solid Earth tides and ocean loading model for Montserrat, and we report the tidal harmonics for 14 major wave groups. Compared to global predictions, the new model (MTY11) achieves an up to one order of magnitude better precision over diurnal and semi-diurnal frequencies. We anticipate that the model will help reduce the effects of tidal perturbations on other geodetic time series recorded on Montserrat. Abrupt variations in gravity accompanied Vulcanian explosions and probably reflect the response of a shallow aquifer to stress changes during pressurization and depressurization of the subvolcanic plumbing system.
Campaign data enabled the quantification of mass variations during a cycle of activity including dome formation and repose. Both forward and inverse modelling of the spatio-temporal time series indicates that the source of the recorded gravity variations is situated beneath central Montserrat. Our favourite interpretation of the campaign data is that the gravity variations reflect volcano-tectonic interaction beneath the Centre Hills of Montserrat that are triggered by changes in the active magmatic system of Soufrière Hills Volcano (SHV). We also discuss our findings on subsurface mass variations in relation to annual precipitation records and active dome formation. Both continuous and discrete gravimetric observations indicate coupling between the dominant magmatic sources responsible for the ongoing eruption at SHV and shallow-seated local sources such as aquifers and fluid-saturated fault-damage zones. Our investigations demonstrate the value of including gravimetric observations over a wide frequency range for volcanic system characterization in a volcanic island arc setting.
Details on the inversion routine of the explorative source model GROWTH 2.0 and the resulting images from its application to time-lapse gravity data are available at http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/SUP18701
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The Eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat from 2000 to 2010
The 1995 to present eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano on Montserrat is one of the most important and best-studied eruptions of an explosive andesitic volcano. This volume presents scientific findings from the period between 2000 and 2010; it follows on from Memoir 21, which focused on the early years of activity between 1995 and 1999. In addition to descriptions and analysis of the growth, collapse and explosions associated with lava domes, there are papers on the deformation of the volcano caused by the deep magma, the petrology and geochemistry of the lavas and associated gases. Of particular note are: an overview of the insights into the deep structure of the volcano that resulted from a major international seismic tomography experiment; and an analysis of the quantitative risk assessment process that has run now for most of the eruption, the longest such continuous assessment in the world.