Introduction to Volcanic Seismology


  • Vyacheslav Zobin, Observatorio Vulcanologico, Universidad de Colima, Mexico

Volcanic earthquakes represent the main and often the only instrument to forecast volcanic eruptions. This book is the first monograph about seismicity in volcanoes. It describes the main types of seismic signals in volcanoes, their nature and spatial and temporal distribution at different stages of eruptive activity.

The book begins with an introduction to the history of volcanic seismology, discusses the models developed for the study of the origin of volcanic earthquakes of both a volcano-tectonic and eruption nature. The next three chapters give case histories of seismic activity associated with 34 eruptions in 17 basaltic, andesitic and dacitic volcanoes throughout the world from 1910 to 1998. Chapters 8 to 10 describe the general regularities of volcano-tectonic earthquakes, their participation in the eruptive process, source properties, and the hazard of strong volcano-tectonic earthquakes. The following three chapters are devoted to the description of eruption earthquakes: volcanic tremor, seismic noise of pyroclastic flows, and explosion earthquakes, with a special discussion on their relationship to eruptive processes. The final two chapters discuss the mitigation of volcanic hazard, the methodology of seismic monitoring of volcanic activity, and experience with forecasting volcanic eruptions by seismic methods.

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Book information

  • Published: July 2003
  • Imprint: ELSEVIER
  • ISBN: 978-0-444-51340-3


...This book will be on the shelves of every geophysicist. I am delighted to report that it is useful, fun to read, full of information and worth rereading.
C. Lomnitz, Natural Hazards

Table of Contents

1. Introduction. 1.1. Terms and definitions. 1.2. Subject of the book. 1.3. Acknowledgements. 2. Seismicity at volcanoes. 2.1. History of seismic monitoring of volcanic activity. 2.2. Classification of volcanic earthquakes. 2.3. Sequences of volcanic earthquakes. 3. Origin of volcano-tectonic earthquakes. 3.1. Magma and its physical and chemical properties. 3.2. Volcanism and tectonics. 3.3. Models of volcano-tectonic earthquake sequences. 4. Origin of eruption earthquakes. 4.1. Processes of the outlet of eruption products from volcanic crater. 4.2. Seismic modeling of eruption earthquakes. 5. Volcano-tectonic earthquakes at basaltic volcanoes. 5.1. Volcano-tectonic earthquakes associated with shield volcanoes. 5.2. Volcano-tectonic earthquakes associated with stratovolcanoes. 5.3. Volcano-tectonic earthquakes associated with fissure eruptions. 5.4. Volcano-tectonic earthquakes associated with caldera collapse. 5.5. Volcano-tectonic earthquakes associated with submarine eruptions. 6. Volcano-tectonic earthquakes at andesitic volcanoes. 6.1. Volcano-tectonic earthquakes associated with volcanic "directed blasts". 6.2. Volcano-tectonic earthquakes associated with phreatic and phreato-magmatic explosions. 6.3. Volcano-tectonic earthquakes associated with lava extrusions. 6.4. Volcano-tectonic earthquakes associated with flank eruption. 7. Volcano-tectonic earthquakes at dacitic volcanoes. 7.1. Volcano-tectonic earthquakes associated with central eruptions. 7.2. Volcano-tectonic earthquakes associated with flank eruptions. 8. General properties of volcano-tectonic earthquake swarms. 8.1. Properties of volcano-tectonic earthquake swarms inferred from the data of Chapters 4 to 6. 8.2. Additional data about volcano-tectonic earthquake swarm properties. 9. Source properties of volcano-tectonic earthquakes. 9.1. Focal mechanisms of volcano-tectonic earthquakes: double couple and non-double couple models. 9.2. Spectral characteristics of volcano-tectonic earthquakes. 9.3. Seismo-tectonic deformations in volcanic region. 10. Significant volcano-tectonic earthquakes and their role in volcanic processes. 10.1. Selection of significant volcano-tectonic earthquakes that occurred in the XXth century. 10.2. Focal rupturing of significant volcano-tectonic earthquakes and its role in volcanic processes. 10.3. The magnitude 7 volcano-tectonic earthquakes in volcanic processes. 10.4. Seismic hazard of significant volcano-tectonic earthquakes. 11. Volcanic tremor. 11.1. Seismograms and spectra. 11.2. Location of volcanic tremor. 11.3. Volcanic tremors in eruptive process. 11.4. Relationships between the intensity of seismic signals and volcanic events. 11.5. Special cases of volcanic tremors. 12. Earthquakes related to pyroclastic flows and rockfalls. 12.1. Occurrences of "fall-and-flow" earthquakes. 12.2. Relationship between the "fall-and-flow" earthquakes and volcanic activity. 12.3. Quantification of "fall-and-flow" earthquakes. 12.4. Location pyroclastic flows using amplitude signals of "fall-and-flow" earthquakes. 13. Explosion earthquakes. 13.1. Waveforms of explosion earthquakes. 13.2. Occurrences of explosion earthquakes and their location. 13.3. Explosion earthquakes in the eruptive process. 13.4. Size of explosion earthquakes. 14. Seismic monitoring of volcanic activity and prediction of volcanic eruptions. 14.1. Methodology of seismic monitoring of volcanic activity. 14.2. Applications of volcanic seismicity in the prediction of volcanic eruptions. 15. Some remarks about unresolved problems. 15.1. Variety of low-frequency volcanic earthquakes. 15.2. Seismic activity at dormant volcanic structures: A problem of possible eruption. References. Index.