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Authors: Ventura, G.* 
Vilardo, G.* 
Title: Estimates of fluid pressure and tectonic stress in hydrothermal/volcanic areas:a methodological approach
Issue Date: 2005
Series/Report no.: 4-5/48 (2005)
Keywords: hydrothermal fluids
fluid pressure
volcanic/hydrothermal areas
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.01. Earthquake geology and paleoseismology 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.07. Instruments and techniques 
Abstract: An analytical approach to estimate the relative contribution of the fluid pressure and tectonic stress in hydrothermal/ volcanic areas is proposed assuming a Coulomb criterion of failure. The analytical procedure requires the coefficient of internal friction, cohesion, rock density, and thickness of overburden to be known from geological data. In addition, the orientation of the principal stress axes and the stress ratio must be determined from the inversion of fault-slip or seismic data (focal mechanisms). At first, the stress magnitude is calculated assuming that faulting occurs in 'dry' conditions (fluid pressure=0). In a second step, the fluid pressure is introduced performing a grid search over the orientation of 1) fault planes that slip by shear failure or 2) cracks that open under different values of fluid pressure and calculating the consistency with the observed fault planes (i.e. strike and dip of faults, cracks, nodal planes from focal mechanisms). The analytical method is applied using fault-slip data from the Solfatara volcano (Campi Flegrei, Italy) and seismic data (focal mechanisms) from the Vesuvius volcano (Italy). In these areas, the fluid pressure required to activate faults (shear fractures) and cracks (open fractures) is calculated. At Solfatara, the ratio between the fluid pressure and the vertical stress ?is very low for faults ( ?=0.16) and relatively high for cracks ( ?=0.5). At Vesuvius, ?=0.6. Limits and uncertainties of the method are also discussed.
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Annals of Geophysics
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