Thermomechanical controls on magma supply and volcanic deformation: application to Aira caldera, Japan
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Ground deformation often precedes volcanic eruptions, and results from complex interactions between source processes and the thermomechanical behaviour of surrounding rocks. Previous models aiming to constrain source processes were unable to include realistic mechanical and thermal rock properties, and the role of thermomechanical heterogeneity in magma accumulation was unclear. Here we show how spatio-temporal deformation and magma reservoir evolution are fundamentally controlled by three-dimensional thermomechanical heterogeneity. Using the example of continued inflation at Aira caldera, Japan, we demonstrate that magma is accumulating faster than it can be erupted, and the current uplift is approaching the level inferred prior to the violent 1914 Plinian eruption. Magma storage conditions coincide with estimates for the caldera-forming reservoir ~29,000 years ago, and the inferred magma supply rate indicates a ~130-year timeframe to amass enough magma to feed a future 1914-sized eruption. These new inferences are important for eruption forecasting and risk mitigation, and have significant implications for the interpretations of volcanic deformation worldwide.
This work was supported by the European Commission, Framework Program 7 (grant 282759, “VUELCO”, and grant 308665, “MEDSUV”), the Natural Environmental Research Council (NE/G01843X/1, “STREVA”, and “COMET”), the Royal Society (UF090006), the University of Bristol International Strategic Fund, and the MEXT project (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology). We thank Paul Alanis for the seismic tomography data, Keigo Yamamoto for the levelling data, and Takeshi Tameguri for the VT data. We thank Jon Blundy and Kathy Cashman for feedback on an early version of the manuscript.
Vol. 6, Art. No. 32691