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Authors: Currenti, G.*
Title: Numerical evidences enabling to reconcile gravity and height changes in volcanic areas
Title of journal: Geophysical Journal International
Series/Report no.: /197 (2014)
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Issue Date: 2014
DOI: 10.1093/gji/ggt507.
Keywords: numerical modeling, gravity and height changes
Abstract: Gravity and height changes, reflecting magma accumulation in subsurface chambers, are evaluated using Finite Element models in order to resolve controversial relationships observed in some volcanic areas. When significant gravity changes occur without any significant deformation, or vice versa, it is often difficult, if not impossible, to jointly explain the observations using the popular Mogi model. Here we explore whether these discrepancies can be explained by magma compressibility and source geometry effects. Compression of resident magma and expansion of the chamber wall act concurrently to accommodate newly added magma. Gravity-height ratios are found to mainly depend on: (i) geometry of the sources, which control the volume expansion of the chamber, (ii) magma compressibility, which affects the contraction of the magma resident in the chamber, and (iii) depth of the sources. Our numerical results show that, when magma compressibility and non-spherical sources are taken into account, significant gravity variations can, indeed, be successfully reconciled with negligible height changes. This may be the case at Etna volcano, where gravity changes (about 40 miuGal) without any significant deformation (below 5 cm) were observed during the 1994-1995 inflation period. The numerical results point to the accumulation of a 1.4x10^10 kg mass into an elongated source simulating a shallow storage region supplying the summit craters.
Appears in Collections:04.03.05. Gravity variations
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