Precise relocation of earthquakes following the 15 June 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo (Philippines)

Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth
By: , and 



The 15 June 1991 climactic eruption of Mount Pinatubo (Philippines) was followed by intense seismicity that remained at a high level for several months. We located 10,839 events recorded between 1 July and mid-December 1991. In contrast to the preeruptive seismicity which was focused in two groups below the summit area, posteruptive events were widely distributed below and around the volcano. The classification of the events indicates the presence of several large multiplets, and the application of relative relocation techniques to the similar events by calculating high-precision delays between traces outlines a number of clear seismogenic structures. We used different methods to confirm the validity of our results; these tests indicate that reliable features can be detected with a small monitoring network. While the main cluster of activity can be attributed to an intrusive process starting from below the 15 June crater, the volcanic origin of the seismic activity in the other areas is more difficult to establish. Away from the summit, relocations define streaks or planes which are oriented predominantly southwest-northeast, with in several cases the presence of northwest-southeast conjugate structures. Most of the composite focal mechanisms that we could determine indicate predominantly strike-slip, right-lateral faulting. Our results indicate that most of the seismicity that occurred after the 15 June eruption is related to the east-west regional compressional stress field related to the subduction. We suggest that the regional stress field induces seismicity along new or preexisting faults in the medium surrounding the volcano where the stress field was locally disturbed by the volcanic eruption. 

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Precise relocation of earthquakes following the 15 June 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo (Philippines)
Series title Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth
DOI 10.1029/2003JB002959
Volume 109
Issue 7
Year Published 2004
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Contributing office(s) Volcano Hazards Program
Country Phillipines
Other Geospatial Mount Pinatubo
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