Routine geodetic measurements are made at only a few dozen of the world's 600 or so active volcanoes, even though these measurements have proven to be a reliable precursor of eruptions. The pattern and rate of surface displacement reveal the depth and rate of pressure increase within shallow magma reservoirs. This process has been demonstrated clearly at Kilauea and Mauna Loa, Hawaii; Long Valley caldera, California; Campi Flegrei caldera, Italy; Rabaul caldera, Papua New Guinea; and Aira caldera and nearby Sakurajima, Japan. Slower and lesser amounts of surface displacement at Yellowstone caldera, Wyoming, are attributed to changes in a hydrothermal system that overlies a crustal magma body. The vertical and horizontal dimensions of eruptive fissures, as well as the amount of widening, have been determined at Kilauea, Hawaii; Etna, Italy; Tolbachik, Kamchatka; Krafla, Iceland; and Asal-Ghoubbet, Djibouti, the last a segment of the East Africa Rift Zone. Continuously recording instruments, such as tiltmeters, extensometers, and dilatometers, have recorded horizontal and upward growth of eruptive fissures, which grew at rates of hundreds of meters per hour, at Kilauea; Izu-Oshima, Japan; Teishi Knoll seamount, Japan; and Piton de la Fournaise, Re??union Island. In addition, such instruments have recorded the hour or less of slight ground movement that preceded small explosive eruptions at Sakurajima and presumed sudden gas emissions at Galeras, Colombia. The use of satellite geodesy, in particular the Global Positioning System, offers the possibility of revealing changes in surface strain both local to a volcano and over a broad region that includes the volcano.
Additional Publication Details
Volcano geodesy: The search for magma reservoirs and the formation of eruptive vents