Abstract

Areas of active volcanism contain elaborate velocity structures that complicate interpretations of earthquake source mechanisms. We examine the spectral characteristics of 805 earthquakes that immediately followed a large volume basaltic dike intrusion and associated silicic flank eruption of Dabbahu volcano in the Afar Depression as recorded on near-source seismometers. We use these results to quantify the contribution of scattering and attenuation to the observed spectra of low-frequency hybrid and volcano-tectonic earthquake clusters from beneath Dabbahu volcano and around the dike zone. We find strong variations in the signal amplitude and frequency content of earthquakes recorded at stations separated by as little as 2 km, caused by preferential attenuation of high frequencies depending on the vantage point. These observations imply that there are large impedance contrasts near the cooling, solidifying, and recently intruded dike. We estimate the intrinsic absorption attenuation coefficient, QI, and inverse scattering length, g0, averaged over a 300-sq-km area beneath Dabbahu. Our results are consistent with the highest attenuation coefficients from studies of volcanic provinces in Italy (forumla, g0≈0.1 km-1 for a signal at 2 Hz). The magnitude of these two parameters indicates there are large impedance contrasts present in the area due to the recent intrusion of magma and associated fracturing.

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