Seismicity related to the glacier of Cotopaxi Volcano, Ecuador

Authors

  • Jean-Philippe Métaxian,

    1. Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Paris, France
    2. Laboratoire de Géophysique Interne et Tectonophysique, Université de Savoie, Le Bourget-du Lac, France
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Sebastián Araujo,

    1. Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Paris, France
    2. Laboratoire de Géophysique Interne et Tectonophysique, Université de Savoie, Le Bourget-du Lac, France
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Mauricio Mora,

    1. Laboratoire de Géophysique Interne et Tectonophysique, Université de Savoie, Le Bourget-du Lac, France
    2. Escuela de Geología, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Philippe Lesage

    1. Laboratoire de Géophysique Interne et Tectonophysique, Université de Savoie, Le Bourget-du Lac, France
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

[1] Significant seismic activity is generally recorded on volcanoes covered by an icecap. This work was carried out in order to quantify the role of the glaciers in the generation of seismicity for Cotopaxi volcano. We compared the seismic activity registered on the glacier and on the rock near the snout of the north flank glacier. We focused on the analysis of low frequency events (<5 Hz) similar to volcanic LP events when recorded on rock base. The particle motion analysis helps to estimate source locations, which are distributed in crevasses areas. High incident angles suggest a superficial origin. These events are interpreted as icequakes for which we propose as source mechanism a fluid-driven crack model triggered by ice cracking or hydraulic transients. The low quality factor values estimated are consistent with the resonance of an ice crack filled with water. This work shows that low frequency icequakes can be confusingly taken as volcanic LP events.

Ancillary