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Regional earthquakes followed by delayed ground uplifts at Campi Flegrei Caldera, Italy: Arguments for a causal link
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geological Sciences.
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Number of Authors: 9
2017 (English)In: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, ISSN 0012-821X, E-ISSN 1385-013X, Vol. 474, 436-446 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Earthquake-triggered volcanic activity promoted by dynamic and static stresses are considered rare and difficult-to-capture geological processes. Calderas are ideal natural laboratories to investigate earthquake volcano interactions due to their sensitivity to incoming seismic energy. The Campi Flegrei caldera, Italy, is one of the most monitored volcanic systems worldwide. We compare ground elevation time series at Campi Flegrei with earthquake catalogues showing that uplift events at Campi Flegrei are associated with large regional earthquakes. Such association is supported by (yet non-definitive) binomial tests. Over a 70-year time window we identify 14 uplift events, 12 of them were preceded by an earthquake, and for 8 of them the earthquake-to-uplift timespan ranges from immediate responses to 1.2 yr. Such variability in the response delay may be due to the preparedness of the system with faster responses probably occurring in periods during which the Campi Flegrei system was already in a critical state. To investigate the process that may be responsible for the proposed association we simulate the propagation of elastic waves and show that passing body waves impose high dynamic strains at the roof of the magmatic reservoir of the Campi Flegrei at about 7 km depth. This may promote a short-lived embrittlement of the magma reservoir's carapace otherwise marked by a ductile behaviour. Such failure allows magma and exsolved volatiles to be released from the magmatic reservoir. The fluids, namely exsolved volatiles and/or melts, ascend through a nominally plastic zone above the magmatic reservoir. This mechanism and the associated inherent uncertainties require further investigations but the new concept already implies that geological processes triggered by passing seismic waves may become apparent several months after passage of the seismic waves. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 474, 436-446 p.
Keyword [en]
caldera, earthquakes, hydrothermal systems, delayed dynamic triggering, fluid flow, bradyseisms
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-148094DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2017.07.006ISI: 000409150600044OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-148094DiVA: diva2:1150799
Available from: 2017-10-20 Created: 2017-10-20 Last updated: 2017-10-20Bibliographically approved

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Weis, PhilippSkelton, AlasdairSaenger, Erik H.Geiger, Sebastian
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