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Understanding the seismic velocity structure of Campi Flegrei Caldera (Italy): from the laboratory to the field scale

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We report laboratory measurements of P- and S-wave velocities on samples of tuff from Campi Flegrei (Italy), and a new tomographic velocity map of the Campi Flegrei caldera. Laboratory measurements were made in a hydrostatic pressure vessel during both increasing and decreasing effective pressure cycles. Selected samples were also thermally stressed at temperatures up to 600°C to induce thermal crack damage. Acoustic emission output was recorded throughout each thermal stressing experiment, and velocities were measured after thermal stressing. Laboratory P- and S-wave velocities are initially low for the tuff, which has an initial porosity of ~45%, but both increase by between 25 and 50% over the effective pressure range of 5 to 80 MPa, corresponding to a decrease of porosity of ~70%. Marked velocity hysteresis, due to inelastic damage processes, is also observed in samples subjected to a pressurization-depressurization cycle. Tomographic seismic velocity distributions obtained from field recordings are in general agreement with the laboratory measurements. Integration of the laboratory ultrasonic and seismic tomography data indicates that the tuffs of the Campi Flegrei caldera can be water or gas saturated, and shows that inelastic pore collapse and cracking produced by mechanical and thermal stress can significantly change the velocity properties of Campi Flegrei tuffs at depth. These changes need to be taken into account in accurately interpreting the crustal structure from tomographic data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2205-2221
Number of pages17
JournalPure and Applied Geophysics
Volume163
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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