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SM6.4 | Challenges in Seismology to Our Understanding of Volcanic Islands and Their Magmatic Unrest



Volcanic islands are some of the most enigmatic features on Earth, as their genesis and geodynamic are not satisfactorily understood. These islands have a unique signature in terms of subsurface structure and seismic signals. Unlike most lithospheric structures, active volcanic structures often present stronger and shorter-scale variations of their seismic properties like velocities, amplitude attenuation, anisotropy, and inner boundaries. Volcanic structures are simultaneously some of the tallest and fastest-forming geological features on our planet and constitute the site of significant geohazards ranging from volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, landslides, and tsunamis. Seismic signals are a primary tool to monitor magmatic unrest, which permit to identify magma migration and pre-eruptive warnings, thus contributing to hazard and risk mitigation.

The scientific community faces several challenges in studying volcanic islands, particularly regarding the monitoring of a plethora of processes taking place at depth. There is still a need to densify seismic networks in volcanic islands, using a combination of land-based and ocean-bottom seismometers, to record the signals associated with volcanic and tectonic processes, and automatically or manually detect and classify those signals. 3D images from the shallow crust to the deep mantle are crucial to unravelling the geodynamic processes behind the generation of volcanism. More accurate quantification of temporal changes in the volcanic systems will help in the forecasting of potential eruptions and the monitoring of ongoing ones. On top of that, the presence of geothermal systems and induced seismicity from industrial exploration are also critical challenges in volcanic islands due to the system's complexity.

Considering the enormous diversity of interactions in volcanic islands, occurring from the crust to the deep mantle, this Research Topic aims to gather a wide range of seismic studies in volcanic islands including, but not limited to: seismo-volcanic monitoring and tracking of magma movement; machine learning detection and classification of volcanic earthquakes; characterization and location of volcanic tremor; 3D and 4D seismic imaging, including attenuation tomography; monitoring using seismic ambient noise; temporal variations in fast shear-wave polarisation; active and passive source studies to characterize flank instability and landslides; induced and triggered seismicity in geothermal systems.

Convener: João Fontiela | Co-conveners: Graça Silveira, Ricardo Ramalho, Joana Carvalho, Adriano Pimentel