Montserrat Volcano Observatory Montserrat
Montserrat Volcano Observatory Montserrat
Hautmann S.,University of Bristol |
Camacho A.G.,Complutense University of Madrid |
Gottsmann J.,University of Bristol |
Odbert H.M.,University of Bristol |
And 2 more authors.
Geophysical Research Letters | Year: 2013
Although the persistently active Soufrière Hills Volcano (Montserrat, West Indies) is one of the most extensively studied active stratovolcanoes, a local Bouguer gravity map of the volcano and the island of Montserrat has yet to be constructed. We collected 157 new gravity data, which we analyzed and inverted in order to constrain the island's subsurface density distribution. Our model results reveal high-density material beneath the centers of the extinct volcanic complexes - presumably related to exposed dome cores - while the volcanic flanks and the active Soufrière Hills Volcano are underlain by low-density material. Volcaniclastic deposits and subsurface melt aggregations, respectively, may explain these negative gravity anomalies. Our results are in good agreement with previous structural observations from seismic tomography; however, a higher spatial density of the gravity survey network has allowed us to additionally capture smaller, shallow-seated anomalies in the gravity field that relate to tectonic structures and fluvial filling deposits. Key Points First local Bouguer anomaly map of Montserrat from 157 new gravity data Data inversion provides high resolution of density contrasts at shallow depths Anomalies image old dome cores, volcaniclastic aprons and tectonic structures ©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Le Friant A.,University Paris Diderot |
Ishizuka O.,Geological Survey of Japan |
Boudon G.,University Paris Diderot |
Palmer M.R.,University of Southampton |
And 40 more authors.
Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems | Year: 2015
IODP Expedition 340 successfully drilled a series of sites offshore Montserrat, Martinique and Dominica in the Lesser Antilles from March to April 2012. These are among the few drill sites gathered around volcanic islands, and the first scientific drilling of large and likely tsunamigenic volcanic island-arc landslide deposits. These cores provide evidence and tests of previous hypotheses for the composition and origin of those deposits. Sites U1394, U1399, and U1400 that penetrated landslide deposits recovered exclusively seafloor sediment, comprising mainly turbidites and hemipelagic deposits, and lacked debris avalanche deposits. This supports the concepts that i/ volcanic debris avalanches tend to stop at the slope break, and ii/ widespread and voluminous failures of preexisting low-gradient seafloor sediment can be triggered by initial emplacement of material from the volcano. Offshore Martinique (U1399 and 1400), the landslide deposits comprised blocks of parallel strata that were tilted or microfaulted, sometimes separated by intervals of homogenized sediment (intense shearing), while Site U1394 offshore Montserrat penetrated a flat-lying block of intact strata. The most likely mechanism for generating these large-scale seafloor sediment failures appears to be propagation of a decollement from proximal areas loaded and incised by a volcanic debris avalanche. These results have implications for the magnitude of tsunami generation. Under some conditions, volcanic island landslide deposits composed of mainly seafloor sediment will tend to form smaller magnitude tsunamis than equivalent volumes of subaerial block-rich mass flows rapidly entering water. Expedition 340 also successfully drilled sites to access the undisturbed record of eruption fallout layers intercalated with marine sediment which provide an outstanding high-resolution data set to analyze eruption and landslides cycles, improve understanding of magmatic evolution as well as offshore sedimentation processes. © 2015. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Wall-Palmer D.,University of Plymouth |
Coussens M.,UK National Oceanography Center |
Talling P.J.,UK National Oceanography Center |
Jutzeler M.,UK National Oceanography Center |
And 34 more authors.
Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems | Year: 2014
Marine sediments around volcanic islands contain an archive of volcaniclastic deposits, which can be used to reconstruct the volcanic history of an area. Such records hold many advantages over often incomplete terrestrial data sets. This includes the potential for precise and continuous dating of intervening sediment packages, which allow a correlatable and temporally constrained stratigraphic framework to be constructed across multiple marine sediment cores. Here we discuss a marine record of eruptive and mass-wasting events spanning ∼250 ka offshore of Montserrat, using new data from IODP Expedition 340, as well as previously collected cores. By using a combination of high-resolution oxygen isotope stratigraphy, AMS radiocarbon dating, biostratigraphy of foraminifera and calcareous nannofossils, and clast componentry, we identify five major events at Soufriere Hills volcano since 250 ka. Lateral correlations of these events across sediment cores collected offshore of the south and south west of Montserrat have improved our understanding of the timing, extent and associations between events in this area. Correlations reveal that powerful and potentially erosive density-currents traveled at least 33 km offshore and demonstrate that marine deposits, produced by eruption-fed and mass-wasting events on volcanic islands, are heterogeneous in their spatial distribution. Thus, multiple drilling/coring sites are needed to reconstruct the full chronostratigraphy of volcanic islands. This multidisciplinary study will be vital to interpreting the chaotic records of submarine landslides at other sites drilled during Expedition 340 and provides a framework that can be applied to the stratigraphic analysis of sediments surrounding other volcanic islands. © 2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.