Array tracking of the volcanic tremor source at Deception Island, Antarctica



We have found experimental evidence which shows that the volcanic tremor recorded at Deception Island (South Shetland Islands, Antarctica) is a superposition in time of overlapping hybrid events. We studied data from a small aperture seismic array. Data analysis for tremor and hybrids included: (1) spectral analysis; (2) apparent slowness and back-azimuth determination by using the zero-lag cross-correlation method; and (3) polarization analysis. Both types of events share these common features: (a) two dominant spectral bands at frequencies 1–3 Hz (the most energetic) and 4–8 Hz; (b) several coherent phases with the same back-azimuth to the source and apparent slowness along the whole signal; (c) in the high frequency band, the apparent slowness is very low (around 0.17 s/km), indicating the propagation of body waves; (d) in the low frequency band, the apparent slowness is high (around 1.6 s/km), consistent with the presence of surface waves; and (e) clear P-wave onset followed by a complex pattern of Rayleigh waves. Therefore, both types of events are strongly related because they share the same source region, the same wave-propagation properties, and the same wave composition. Moreover, several arrivals, that resemble a single hybrid event, have been found along the tremor signals. Due to these reasons, we hypothesize that volcanic tremor of Deception Island is a superposition of hybrid type events. The source of both types could be the interaction between thaw water and hot materials in a shallow aquifer.