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Crustal magma pathway beneath Aso caldera inferred from three-dimensional electrical resistivity structure



At Naka-dake cone, Aso caldera, Japan, volcanic activity is raised cyclically, an example of which was a phreatomagmatic eruption in September 2015. Using a three-dimensional model of electrical resistivity, we identify a magma pathway from a series of northward dipping conductive anomalies in the upper crust beneath the caldera. Our resistivity model was created from magnetotelluric measurements conducted in November–December 2015; thus, it provides the latest information about magma reservoir geometry beneath the caldera. The center of the conductive anomalies shifts from the north of Naka-dake at depths >10 km toward Naka-dake, along with a decrease in anomaly depths. The melt fraction is estimated at 13–15% at ~2 km depth. Moreover, these anomalies are spatially correlated with the locations of earthquake clusters, which are distributed within resistive blocks on the conductive anomalies in the northwest of Naka-dake but distributed at the resistive sides of resistivity boundaries in the northeast.