A volcano bursting at the seams: Inflation, faulting, and eruption at Sierra Negra volcano, Galápagos

William W. Chadwick*, Dennis J. Geist, Sigurjon Jonsson, Michael Poland, Daniel J. Johnson, Charles M. Meertens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations

Abstract

The results of geodetic monitoring since 2002 at Sierra Negra volcano in the Galápagos Islands show that the filling and pressurization of an ∼2-km-deep sill eventually led to an eruption that began on 22 October 2005. Continuous global positioning system (CGPS) monitoring measured >2 m of accelerating inflation leading up to the eruption and contributed to nearly 5 m of total uplift since 1992, the largest precursory inflation ever recorded at a basaltic caldera. This extraordinary uplift was accommodated in part by repeated trapdoor faulting, and coseismic CGPS data provide strong constraints for improved deformation models. These results highlight the feedbacks between inflation, faulting, and eruption at a basaltic volcano, and demonstrate that faulting above an intruding magma body can relieve accumulated strain and effectively postpone eruption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1025-1028
Number of pages4
JournalGeology
Volume34
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006

Keywords

  • Geodesy
  • Global positioning system
  • Inferometric synthetic aperture radar
  • Inflation
  • Intrusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology

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