Subsurface structure of the Solfatara volcano (Campi Flegrei caldera, Italy) as deduced from joint seismic-noise array, volcanological and morphostructural analysis
Article first published online: 13 JUL 2012
©2012. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
Volume 13, Issue 7, July 2012
How to Cite
2012), Subsurface structure of the Solfatara volcano (Campi Flegrei caldera, Italy) as deduced from joint seismic-noise array, volcanological and morphostructural analysis, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 13, Q07006, doi:10.1029/2011GC004030., , , , , and (
- Issue published online: 13 JUL 2012
- Article first published online: 13 JUL 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 7 JUN 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 22 MAY 2012
- Manuscript Received: 29 DEC 2011
- crustal structure;
- seismic noise
 The joint application of different seismological techniques for seismic noise analysis, and the results of a volcanological and morphostructural survey, have allowed us to obtain a detailed and well constrained image of the shallow crustal structure of the Solfatara volcano (Campi Flegrei caldera, Italy). Horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratios, inversion of surface wave dispersion curves and polarization analysis provided resonance frequencies and peak amplitudes, shear wave velocity profiles and polarization pattern of coherent ambient noise. These results, combined in a unique framework, indicate that the volcanic edifice is characterized by lateral and vertical discontinuities and heterogeneities in terms of shear wave velocity, lithological contrasts and structural setting. The interpretation of the seismological results, with the volcanological and morphostructural constraints, supports the hypothesis that the volcano has been characterized by a complex and intense activity, with the alternation of constructive and destructive phases, during which magmatic and phreatomagmatic explosions built a complex tuff-cone, later reworked by atmospheric agents and altered by hydrothermal activity. The differences in the velocity structure between the central and eastern parts of the crater have been interpreted as resulting from a possible eastward migration of the eruptive vent along the deformational features affecting the area, and to the presence of viscous lava and lithified tuff bodies within the feeding conduits, which are buried under a covering of reworked materials of variable thickness. The observed fault and fracture systems, partially inherited from regional structural setting and exhumed during volcanism and ground deformation episodes also seems to strongly control wave propagation, affecting the noise polarization properties.