Journal Article Precursory tilt changes of small phreatic eruptions of Meakan-dake volcano, Hokkaido, Japan, in November 2008

Aoyama, Hiroshi  ,  Oshima, Hiromitsu

67p.119 , 2015-07-29 , Springer
Although forecasting an occurrence of phreatic eruption is very difficult, it has been reported that some precursory activities often precede these eruptions at several volcanoes. In this study, we observed seismic activities before and during the 2008 phreatic eruption at Meakan-dake volcano, eastern Hokkaido, Japan, by using broadband seismometers and surface mount-type tiltmeters. The precursory increase in seismicity began in late September about 2 months before the first eruption on November 18. After several rises and falls in seismicity in October and in early November, a small volcanic tremor was observed early on November 16. Although the original velocity seismogram of the tremor generally appeared to be spindle shaped, an outstanding ramp function appeared in the displacement seismogram obtained by simple integration. Since the ramp function appeared only in the horizontal components and continued for about 3 min, which is sufficiently longer than the natural period of the seismometer, we regarded the ramp function as an expression of the tilting motions of seismic stations that was quantitatively confirmed by the strong similarity between horizontal displacement seismograms and tilt data from co-located biaxial tiltmeter. Azimuthal distribution of three tilting vectors obtained from broadband seismograms was not consistent with a simple spherical source but rather strongly suggested a vertical dike under the crater. In this study, we confirmed that an almost vertical single dike effectively explains the observed tilting vectors. The estimated volume increase in the dike was 4-5 x 10(4) m(3). The strike direction of the dike is highly consistent with the alignment of the hydrothermal area on and around the volcano. Our dike model also partially explains the changes in global navigation satellite system (GNSS) measurement and in groundwater levels reported in previous research. Since a similar deformation coincided with a volcanic tremor preceding the 2006 eruption, we interpret that this must be an important preparatory process of phreatic eruptions at Meakan-dake volcano.

Number of accesses :  

Other information