A Preparation Zone For Volcanic Explosions Beneath Naka-Dake Crater, Aso Volcano, As Inferred From Magnetotelluric Surveys

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Journal Article: A Preparation Zone For Volcanic Explosions Beneath Naka-Dake Crater, Aso Volcano, As Inferred From Magnetotelluric Surveys

Abstract
The 1st crater of Naka-dake, Aso volcano, is one of the most active craters in Japan, and known to have a characteristic cycle of activity that consists of the formation of a crater lake, drying-up of the lake water, and finally a Strombolian-type eruption. Recent observations indicate an increase in eruptive activity including a decrease in the level of the lake water, mud eruptions, and red hot glows on the crater wall. Temporal variations in the geomagnetic field observed around the craters of Naka-dake also indicate that thermal demagnetization of the subsurface rocks has been occurring in shallow subsurface areas around the 1st crater. Volcanic explosions act to release the energy transferred from magma or volcanic fluids. Measurement of the subsurface electrical resistivity is a promising method in investigating the shallow structure of the volcanic edifices, where energy from various sources accumulates, and in investigating the behaviors of magma and volcanic fluids. We carried out audio-frequency magnetotelluric surveys around the craters of Naka-dake in 2004 and 2005 to determine the detailed electrical structure down to a depth of around 1 km. The main objective of this study is to identify the specific subsurface structure that acts to store energy as a preparation zone for volcanic eruption. Two-dimensional inversions were applied to four profiles across the craters, revealing a strongly conductive zone at several hundred meters depth beneath the 1st crater and surrounding area. In contrast, we found no such remarkable conductor at shallow depths beneath the 4th crater, which has been inactive for 70 years, finding instead a relatively resistive body. The distribution of the rotational invariant of the magnetotelluric impedance tensor is consistent with the inversion results. This unusual shallow structure probably reflects the existence of a supply path of high-temperature volcanic gases to the crater bottom. We propose that the upper part of the conductor identified beneath the 1st crater is mainly composed of hydrothermally altered zone that acts both as a cap to upwelling fluids supplied from deep-level magma and as a floor to infiltrating fluid from the crater lake. The relatively resistive body found beneath the 4th crater represents consolidated magma. These results suggest that the shallow conductor beneath the active crater is closely related to a component of the mechanism that controls volcanic activity within Naka-dake.

Authors 
Wataru Kanda, Yoshikazu Tanaka, Mitsuru Utsugi, Shinichi Takakura, Takeshi Hashimoto and Hiroyuki Inoue








Published Journal 
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 2008





DOI 
Not Provided
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Citation

Wataru Kanda,Yoshikazu Tanaka,Mitsuru Utsugi,Shinichi Takakura,Takeshi Hashimoto,Hiroyuki Inoue. 2008. A Preparation Zone For Volcanic Explosions Beneath Naka-Dake Crater, Aso Volcano, As Inferred From Magnetotelluric Surveys. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. (!) .