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Magma pressurization sustains ongoing eruptive episode at dome-building Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat

J. Hickey, K. Pascal, M. Head, J. Gottsmann, N. Fournier, S. Hreinsdottir and R. Syers
Magma pressurization sustains ongoing eruptive episode at dome-building Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat
Geology (Boulder) (August 2022) 50 (11): 1261-1265

Abstract

Dome-building volcanoes, where long-term eruptive episodes can be interspersed with periods of intra-eruptive repose, are particularly challenging for volcanic hazard assessment. Defining the end of eruptive episodes is vitally important for the socioeconomic recovery of affected communities but highly problematic due to the potential for rapid transition from prolonged, seemingly low-risk repose to dangerous effusive or explosive activity. It is currently unclear what constitutes the end of repose and an eruptive episode. We show that analysis of surface deformation can characterize repose and help define an eruptive episode. At Soufriere Hills volcano, Montserrat, the long-term post-2010 deformation at 12 continuous GPS stations requires the pressure in the magma system to have increased with time; time-dependent stress relaxation or crustal creep cannot explain the deformation trends alone. Continued pressurization within the magmatic system during repose could initiate a renewed eruption, qualifying as sustained unrest and therefore continuation of the eruptive episode. For Soufriere Hills volcano, persistent magma pressurization highlights the need for sustained vigilance in the monitoring and management of the volcano and its surroundings, despite the last eruptive activity ending in 2010. Our results show promise for application to other dome-building volcanoes.


ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Coden: GLGYBA
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 50
Serial Issue: 11
Title: Magma pressurization sustains ongoing eruptive episode at dome-building Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat
Affiliation: University of Exeter, Camborne School of Mines, Penryn, United Kingdom
Pages: 1261-1265
Published: 20220823
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 30
Accession Number: 2022-057107
Categories: Quaternary geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sketch map
N16°45'00" - N16°45'00", W62°13'60" - W62°13'60"
Secondary Affiliation: Montserrat Volcano Observatory, MSR, MontserratUniversity of Bristol, GBR, United KingdomGNS Science, NZL, New Zealand
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2022, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 202243
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