Observations of hybrid seismic events at Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat: July 1995 to September 1996



Swarms of small repetitive events with similar waveforms and magnitudes are often observed during the emplacement of lava domes. Over 300,000 such events were recorded in association with the emplacement of the lava dome at Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat, from August 1995 through August 1996. These events originated < 2–3 km deep. They exhibited energy ranging over ˜ 1.5–4.5 Hz and were broader band than typical long-period events. We term the events “hybrid” between long-period and volcano-tectonic. The events were more impulsive and broader band prior to, compared with during and after, periods of inferred increased magma flux rate. Individual swarms contained up to 10,000 events often exhibiting very similar magnitudes and waveforms throughout the swarm. Swarms lasted hours to weeks, during which inter-event intervals generally increased, then decreased, often several times. Long-duration swarms began about every two months starting in late September 1995. We speculate that the events were produced as the magma column degassed into adjacent cracks.