Acoustic emission (AE) as a diagnostic tool in geophysics

G. Paparo, G. P. Gregori, U. Coppa, R. De Ritis, A. Taloni


Acoustic Emissions (AE) are effective for monitoring ground deformation and temporal variation of its porosity. AE are complementary to seismic information, related to the same area, though AE and earthquakes focus on observational evidence concerned with substantially different space- and time-scales. AE information is pertinent (i) either for geodynamically stable areas, where it probes the diurnal thermal and/or tidal deformation, (ii) or for seismic areas where it provides some as yet unexploited precursors, (iii) or for volcanic areas, where it appears capable of recognising precursors originated by some hot fluid that penetrates by diffusion into rock pores, from those associated with eventual plutonic magma intrusions, (iv) and also for monitoring periods of time during which a volcano is «inflated» by underground hot fluids compared to others during which it «deflates». Upon direct comparison between 6 data sets concerned with different physical settings, it seems to be possible (fig. 3 and table II] to distinguish a few significantly different behaviours associated either (i) with a mere compression (such as it occurs for Stromboli, Vesuvius, and a sample compressed in the laboratory), or (ii) with a slip strain, such as it typically occurs in association with faulting or with diurnal thermal rock deformation.


acoustic emission;precursors;earthquakes;volcanoes;dilatancy

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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X