The horizontal components of broadband seismographs are highly sensitive to tilt, suggesting that commonly deployed portable broadband seismic sensors may record important tilt information associated with volcanic eruptions. We report on a tilt episode that coincides with the first historical eruption of Anatahan volcano on May 10, 2003. The tilt was recorded by a Strekheisen STS-2 seismograph deployed in an underground insulated chamber 7 km west of the active vent. An ultra-long period signal with a dominant period of several hours was recorded on the E-W component beginning at 06:20 GMT on May 10, which coincides with the onset of continuous volcano-tectonic (VT) seismicity and is one hour prior to the eruption time estimated by the Volcanic Ash Advisory Center. The signal is much smaller on the N-S component and absent on the vertical component, suggesting it results from tilt that is approximately radial with respect to the active vent. An estimate of tilt as a function of time is recovered by deconvolving the record to acceleration and dividing by the acceleration of gravity. The record indicates an initial episode of tilt downward away from the volcanic center from 06:20-09:30 GMT, which we interpret as inflation of the shallow volcanic source. The tilt reverses, recording deflation, from 09:30 until 17:50, after which the tilt signal becomes insignificant. The inflation corresponds to a period of numerous VT events, whereas fewer events were recorded during the deflation episode, and the VT events subsequently resumed after the end of the deflationary tilt. The maximum tilt of 2 microradians can be used to estimate the volume of the source inflation (???2 million in m3), assuming a simple Mogi source model. These calculations are consistent with other estimates of source volume if reasonable source depths are assumed. Examination of broadband records of other eruptions may disclose further previously unrecognized tilt signals. Copyright 2005 by the American Geophysical Union.
Additional Publication Details
Tilt recorded by a portable broadband seismograph: The 2003 eruption of Anatahan Volcano, Mariana Islands