The anatomy of a tornillo: puzzles from three-component measurements at Galeras volcano (Colombia)

D. Seidl, M. Hellweg, H. Rademacher, D. M. Gomez M., R. A. Torres C.


Many of the recent ash eruptions of Galeras volcano (Colombia) have been preceded by tornillos. These unusual seismic events of unknown origin have screw-like profiles on seismograms and can last up to several minutes. In March, 1996, a broadband, three-component seismometer station was installed 1.6 km south of Cono, Galeras' active vent. With high quality recordings acquired by this system, and methods which work well with narrow band signals, we investigate the frequency content and polarization properties of two tornillos. They have slighty different predominant frequencies, 3.0420 Hz and 3.0595 Hz which remain highly stable for the entire tornillo duration. The polarization analysis shows that the polarization for the two events also differs slightly but remains constant. Most of their energy is linearly polarized and lies in the horizontal plane. If these waves are taken to be SH waves, the remaining energy is confined to the beginning of the tornillo during its initiation or excitation. The remainder of the tornillo is characterized by exponential decay. These observations provide parameters for the classification of tornillos and constraints for source models.


Galeras;tornillo;polarizations;analytic function;parametrization

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