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Volcanic activity is often preceded or accompanied by different types of seismo-volcanic signals. Among these signals, the so-called tornillo (Spanish for “screw”) events are considered to belong to a unique class of volcano-seismicity characterised by a long-duration coda, amplitude modulation and high-quality factor. These data constitute important evidence for the gas fraction inside magmatic fluids. However, the mechanism behind this unique signal remains not fully understood. Here we report new laboratory evidence showing that two different processes have either scale-invariant or scale-dependent effects in generating tornillo-like events. These processes are respectively the gas pressure gradient, which triggers the event and regulates the slow decaying coda, and the fluid resonance into small scale structures which, in turn, control the frequency content of the signal. Considering that the gas pressure gradient is proportional to the fluid flow, these new findings, as applied to volcanoes, provide new information to better quantify both gas rate and volume, and the dimension of the resonator.
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Investigating dynamic fracture processes in 'weak' rocks: applications to volcano seismology and forecasting
1/09/12 → 31/08/14