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Authors: D'Auria, L.* 
Massa, B.* 
De Matteo, A.* 
Title: The stress field beneath a quiescent stratovolcano: The case of Mount Vesuvius
Issue Date: 22-Feb-2014
Series/Report no.: 2/119 (2014)
DOI: 10.1002/2013JB010792
Keywords: vesuvius
stress inversion
focal mechanisms
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.06. Seismology::04.06.08. Volcano seismology 
04. Solid Earth::04.06. Seismology::04.06.10. Instruments and techniques 
04. Solid Earth::04.07. Tectonophysics::04.07.05. Stress 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.06. Volcano monitoring 
Abstract: We have analyzed a focal mechanism data set for Mount Vesuvius, consisting of 197 focal mechanisms of events recorded from 1999 to 2012. Using different approaches and a comparison between observations and numerical models, we have determined the spatial variations in the stress field beneath the volcano. The main results highlight the presence of two seismogenic volumes characterized by markedly different stress patterns. The two volumes are separated by a layer where the seismic strain release shows a significant decrease. Previous studies postulated the existence, at about the same depth, of a ductile layer allowing the spreading of the Mount Vesuvius edifice. We interpreted the difference in the stress pattern within the two volumes as the effect of a mechanical decoupling caused by the aforementioned ductile layer. The stress pattern in the top volume is dominated by a reverse faulting style, which agrees with the hypothesis of a seismicity driven by the spreading process. This agrees also with the persistent character of the seismicity located within this volume. Conversely, the stress field determined for the deep volume is consistent with a background regional field locally perturbed by the effects of the topography and of heterogeneities in the volcanic structure. Since the seismicity of the deep volume shows an intermittent behavior and has shown to be linked to geochemical variations in the fumaroles of the volcano, we hypothesize that it results from the effect of fluid injection episodes, possibly of magmatic origin, perturbing the pore pressure within the hydrothermal system.
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