Joint 3-D tomographic imaging of Vp, Vs and Vp/Vs and hypocenter relocation at Sinabung volcano, Indonesia from November to December 2013

Research paper by Andri DianNugrahaa, NoviantiIndrastutib, RidwanKusnandarcd, HendraGunawanb, WendyMcCauslande, Atin NurAuliaf, UlvieninHarliantif

Indexed on: 11 Nov '17Published on: 01 Sep '17Published in: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research


We conducted travel time tomography using P- and S-wave arrival times of volcanic-tectonic (VT) events that occurred between November and December 2013 to determine the three-dimensional (3D) seismic velocity structure (Vp, Vs, and Vp/Vs) beneath Sinabung volcano, Indonesia in order to delineate geological subsurface structure and to enhance our understanding of the volcanism itself. This was a time period when phreatic explosions became phreatomagmatic and then magma migrated to the surface forming a summit lava dome. We used 4846 VT events with 16,138 P- and 16,138 S-wave arrival time phases recorded by 6 stations for the tomographic inversion. The relocated VTs collapse into three clusters at depths from the surface to sea level, from 2 to 4 km below sea level, and from 5 to 8.5 km below sea level. The tomographic inversion results show three prominent regions of high Vp/Vs (~ 1.8) beneath Sinabung volcano at depths consistent with the relocated earthquake clusters. We interpret these anomalies as intrusives associated with previous eruptions and possibly surrounding the magma conduit, which we cannot resolve with this study. One anomalous region might contain partial melt, at sea level and below the eventual eruption site at the summit. Our results are important for the interpretation of a conceptual model of the “plumbing system” of this hazardous volcano.