EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The 2018-2019 Mayotte volcano-tectonic crisis: insights from electromagnetic experiments

Pierre Wawrzyniak1, Mathieu Darnet1, Sophie Hautot2, and Pascal Tarits3
Pierre Wawrzyniak et al.
  • 1French Geological Survey, Direction of Risks and Risk Prevention, France (
  • 2IMAGIR, France
  • 3UBO, France

Since May 2018, the Mayotte Island (Comoros archipelago) is ongoing the largest basaltic eruption of the three last centuries, with up to several km3 deduced from modeling and direct seafloor observations. During this volcano tectonic crisis, we performed a land and shallow marine Magnetotelluric (MT) survey on the island the closest to the new volcano. Initially designed for shallow geothermal exploration (<2km depth), we extended the duration of the measurements to perform deep MT soundings (>10km depth) and get some insight into the geo-electric structure of the Mayotte island.

The analysis of the MT data shows a deep geo-electrical anisotropy in the W-NW E-SE direction that is coherent with the expected orientation of the oceanic ridge between the Somalian and the Lwandle plate. Additionally, the 3D inversion of the data shows that a massive conductive body is present at great depth (>15km), possibly related to the presence of partial melt. Interestingly, this conductor seems to become shallower in the direction of the new volcano.

After the survey, we installed two permanent MT stations in Petite Terre and Grande Terre islands to monitor possible time-lapse conductive anomaly related to fluid migration. We will show the results and discuss the Time Lapse MT strategy, challenges and observations.

How to cite: Wawrzyniak, P., Darnet, M., Hautot, S., and Tarits, P.: The 2018-2019 Mayotte volcano-tectonic crisis: insights from electromagnetic experiments, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-20669,, 2020

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Presentation version 1 – uploaded on 04 May 2020
  • CC1: Comment on EGU2020-20669, Frederick Massin, 05 May 2020

    Nice! I'd be interested to have a better understanding of the footprint and sensitivity of your study. Maybe you'd also like to have this reference on a similar analysis:

    Three dimensional inversion of large scale EarthScope magnetotelluric data based on the integral equation method: Geoelectrical imaging of the Yellowstone conductive mantle plume, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L08307, doi:10.1029/2011GL046953.

    • AC1: Reply to CC1, Pierre WAWRZYNIAK, 05 May 2020

      Thank You. We included sensitivity analysis on our paper. Both conductive anomalies are sine quae non for data fitting. Concerning the footprint of the model and the survey, it is highly depend on the spatial extent of the MT station, which is very small here. We aim to extend it by additional land and marine MT measurements.