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The threat of explosive volcanic eruptions looms over many cities around the world. Earthquakes, another major geological hazard, are known to have some relationships with the occurrence of volcanic eruptions. Although they often precede volcanic events, the mechanisms of these relationships are not yet well understood.
Mount Aso in Kyushu, Japan, is one of the largest active volcanoes in the world and has experienced major earthquakes and eruptions as recently as 2016. Researchers at Kyushu University's International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research (I2CNER) have been investigating the relationships among these events to better understand what is happening under the surface and to help predict future disasters. In particular, for a new study published in Geophysical Research Letters, they investigated very long period (VLP) seismic waves, which can represent pressure changes in subsurface hydrothermal systems.
VLP - Seismicity - Data - January - December
"We analyzed continuous VLP seismicity data recorded from January 2015 to December 2016, a period that includes both large earthquakes and eruptions of Mount Aso," explains lead author Andri Hendriyana. "Using this dataset, we developed a differential-time back-projection method to accurately locate VLP events, and detected over 18,000 reliable VLP events."
Using this method, two distinct clusters of these seismic events were identified in the subsurface below the caldera...
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