Europe includes some of the most volcanically active regions on Earth, hosting about 6% of the 600 volcanoes known to have erupted in historical time and, of those, 2-3 are normally in eruption each year. Some 4-5 million people live within sight of an act ive European volcano, and ~10% of the EU population is economically vulnerable. An improved understanding of volcanic mechanisms will directly enhance the quality of life of European citizens, and vulnerable populations worldwide. Seismicity and ground def ormation are the precursory phenomena most frequently seen before eruption, as the Earth's crust is distorted by magma moving to the surface, and as fluids (magma / gas / hydrothermal fluid) move within faulted rock. Final approach to eruption is commonly preceded by accelerating rates in the rate of low magnitude volcano-tectonic (VT) earthquakes and of long-period (LP) events (seismic signals unique to volcanoes and associated with fluid movement). Although the association of LP events with volcanic activ ity is not new, the specific mechanisms for LP generation is poorly understood. This project will, for the first time under in-situ conditions, generate unique, well-constrained laboratory data under simulated volcanic conditions of stress and temperature. By comparing this data to published field monitoring and theoretical data, the project will produce results that will contribute to improved methods for investigating short-term precursors before volcanic eruptions. Using state-of-the-art acoustic emissio n systems, we will record and analyse microseismic events due to fluid movement in a manner analogous to LP events at field scale on a volcanic edifice; this knowledge will then be brought back to the EU for further experimentation and application to model s. Crucially, unlike the field situation, basic parameters of stress, fluid flow velocity and fracture dimension will be investigated in order to determine their effect upon the harmonic resonances recorded.
Field of science
- /natural sciences/earth and related environmental sciences/geology/volcanology
Call for proposal
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