Broadband seismic experiment at Merapi Volcano, Java, Indonesia: very-long-period pulses embedded in multiphase earthquakes

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Journal Article

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Multiphase (MP) and low frequency (LF) earthquakes with spectral peak amplitudes at 3-4 and 1 Hz, respectively, are two common types of shallow volcanic earthquakes previously recognized at Merapi Volcano. Their mechanisms are poorly understood but MPs have been temporally associated with lava dome growth. We conducted a seismic experiment in January-February 1998, using four broadband seismographs to investigate the nature of seismic activity associated with dome growth. During our experiment, Merapi experienced mild dome growth with low-level seismic activity. We compare our data to that recorded on a local short-period (SP) network, with the following preliminary results. MP and LF events as recorded and classified on the short-period network instruments were recognized on the broadband network. Frequency spectrograms revealed similar patterns in the near summit region at widely separated broadband stations, Higher frequency spectra than previously recognized were identified for both MP and LF events, and were strongly attenuated as a function of radial distance from the source. Thus the spectral characteristics of these events as recorded on far-field stations are not fully indicative of the source processes. In particular, many events classified as LF-type appear to have much high frequency energy near the source. This aspect of these so-called LF earthquakes, and their association with very-long-period (VLP) pulses, suggests that many events identified in the far-field as LF events are in actuality a variety of the MP event and involve similar source processes. Broadband records indicated that simple large-amplitude VLP pulses were embedded in MP and LF wavetrains. From event to event these pulses were similar in their waveforns and had periods of 4 a. VLP events embedded in LF and MP earthquakes were located using particle motions. The epicenters were clustered in a central region of the dome complex, and preliminary source depths were within about 100 m of the dome surface, suggesting a sourer region deep within the dome or the uppermost conduit. A similar source location was established by study of MP high-frequency onsets. Our broadband data suggests that we have recorded both elastic seismic waves and a simple embedded pulse that is interpreted to represent a surface tilt at the seismometer site. The inferred tilt indicates an inflation and subsequent deflation, possibly caused by a gas pressure pulse or episodic shallow magma transport with stick-slip movement of the conduit wall. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

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Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research





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