On the use of earthquake multiplets to study fractures and the temporal evolution of an active volcano

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G. Poupinet
A. Ratdomopurbo
O. Coutant


Multiplets, i.e. events with similar waveforms, are common features on active volcanoes. The seismograms of multiplets are analyzed by cross-spectrum techniques: this procedure improves by a factor of about 10 the precision of differential P-arrival times and therefore the accuracy of the relative location of earthquakes. Long period events which cannot be located because of the impossibility to pick up P-waves on individual seismograms can be located with a precision of about 10 m. Such a precision permits fault planes to be mapped inside a volcanic edifice and the azimuth and strike of fractures to be defined. Seismograms of the two events (of a doublet) that occur on different dates are analyzed by the Cross Spectrum Moving Window technique (CSMW) for measuring the time delay between waves in the coda. The pattern of the delays in the coda is a function of the temporal changes of seismic velocity that occurred inside the volcano during the time interval that separates the two events of a doublet. We illustrate the potential of the doublet technique for detecting temporal changes inside a volcano by performing computations of synthetic seismograms. The case of a dyke injected inside the volcano is considered as well as that of the replenishment of a superficial magma chamber and of a general increase in velocity in the summit of the volcano. Data from Merapi volcano (Indonesia)illustrate a possible temporal velocity change inside the volcano several months before the 1992 eruption.

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Poupinet, G., Ratdomopurbo, A. and Coutant, O. (1996) “On the use of earthquake multiplets to study fractures and the temporal evolution of an active volcano”, Annals of Geophysics, 39(2). doi: 10.4401/ag-3968.