Gottsmann, J; Rymer, H. and Wooller, L.K
On the interpretation of gravity variations in the presence of active hydrothermal systems: Insights from the Nisyros Caldera, Greece.
Geophysical Research Letters, 32(23)
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We report on short-term (over tens of minutes) residual gravity changes recorded at the restless Nisyros caldera in Greece via a series of discrete measurements at benchmarks within or in proximity to a hydrothermal area located along the caldera floor. The obtained time series reveal sinusoidal gravity variations with amplitudes of up to 25 μGal and wavelengths of 40–50 min. Degassing of a magmatic source coupling into (shallow) hydrothermal systems including the ascent of steam pockets and transient pressure variations during steam/liquid interface propagation appear to be the most likely causative process for the observed short-term variations. We assess standard protocols of microgravity surveys for hazard assessment in volcanic areas in the light of these findings and propose additional techniques, such as continuous gravimetry, for the discrimination of hydrothermal signals from deeper-seated, i.e. magmatic, signals during gravity monitoring of restless volcanoes hosting active hydrothermal systems.
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