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Earthquake prediction using extinct monogenetic volcanoes: A possible new research strategy.

Domenii publicaţii > Ştiinţele pământului şi planetare + Tipuri publicaţii > Articol în revistã ştiinţificã

Autori: Szakács A.

Editorial: Elsevier, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 201, p.404-411, 2011.


Volcanoes are extremely effective transmitters of matter, energy and information from the deep Earth towards its surface. Their capacities as information carriers are far to be fully exploited so far. Volcanic conduits can be viewed in general as rod-like or sheet-like vertical features with relatively homogenous composition and structure crosscutting geological structures of far more complexity and compositional heterogeneity. Information-carrying signals such as earthquake precursor signals originating deep below the Earth surface are transmitted with much less loss of information through homogenous vertically extended structures than through the horizontally segmented heterogeneous lithosphere or crust. Volcanic conduits can thus be viewed as upside-down “antennas” or waveguides which can be used as privileged pathways of any possible earthquake precursor signal. In particular, conduits of monogenetic volcanoes are promising transmitters of deep Earth information to be received and decoded at surface monitoring stations because the expected more homogenous nature of their rock-fill as compared to polygenetic volcanoes. Among monogenetic volcanoes those with dominantly effusive activity appear as the best candidates for privileged earthquake monitoring sites. In more details, effusive monogenetic volcanic conduits filled with rocks of primitive parental magma composition indicating direct ascent from sub-lithospheric magma-generating areas are the most suitable. Further selection criteria may include age of the volcanism considered and the presence of mantle xenoliths in surface volcanic products indicating direct and straightforward link between the deep lithospheric mantle and surface through the conduit. Innovative earthquake prediction research strategies can be based and developed on these grounds by considering conduits of selected extinct monogenetic volcanoes and deep trans-crustal fractures as privileged emplacement sites of seismic monitoring stations using an assemblage of physical, chemical and biological sensors devised to detect precursory signals. Earthquake prediction systems can be built up based on the concept of a signal emission- transmission-reception system, in which volcanic conduits and/or deep fractures play the role of the most effective signal transmission paths through the lithosphere. Unique “precursory fingerprints” of individual seismic structures are expected to be pointed out as an outcome of target-oriented strategic prediction research. Intelligent pattern-recognition systems are to be included for evaluation of the signal assemblages recorded by complex sensor arrays. Such strategies are expected however to be limited to intermediate depth and deep seismic structures. Due to its particular features and geotectonic setting, the Vrancea seismicstructure in Romania appears to be an excellent experimental target for prediction research.

Cuvinte cheie: Predictie seismica, strategie de cercetare, vulcan monogenetic, zona sesmica Vrancea, conduct vulcanic // Earthquake prediction, Research strategy, Monogenetic volcano, Vrancea seismic zone, Volcanic conduit