Source and path effects in the wave fields of tremor and explosions at Stromboli Volcano, Italy


  • Bernard Chouet,

  • Gilberto Saccorotti,

  • Marcello Martini,

  • Phillip Dawson,

  • Gaetano De Luca,

  • Giuliano Milana,

  • Roberto Scarpa


The wave fields generated by Strombolian activity are investigated using data from small-aperture seismic arrays deployed on the north flank of Stromboli and data from seismic and pressure transducers set up near the summit crater. Measurements of slowness and azimuth as a function of time clearly indicate that the sources of tremor and explosions are located beneath the summit crater at depths shallower than 200 m with occasional bursts of energy originating from sources extending to a depth of 3 km. Slowness, azimuth, and particle motion measurements reveal a complex composition of body and surface waves associated with topography, structure, and source properties. Body waves originating at depths shallower than 200 m dominate the wave field at frequencies of 0.5–2.5 Hz, and surface waves generated by the surficial part of the source and by scattering sources distributed around the island dominate at frequencies above 2.5 Hz. The records of tremor and explosions are both dominated by SH motion. Far-field records from explosions start with radial motion, and near-field records from those events show dominantly horizontal motion and often start with a low-frequency (1–2 Hz) precursor characterized by elliptical particle motion, followed within a few seconds by a high-frequency radial phase (1–10 Hz) accompanying the eruption of pyroclastics. The dominant component of the near- and far-field particle motions from explosions, and the timing of air and body wave phases observed in the near field, are consistent with a gas-piston mechanism operating on a shallow (<200 m deep), vertical crack-like conduit. Models of a degassing fluid column suggest that noise emissions originating in the collective oscillations of bubbles ascending in the magma conduit may provide an adequate self-excitation mechanism for sustained tremor generation at Stromboli.