Investigating potential icequakes at Llaima volcano, Chile

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Oliver D. Lamb
Jonathan M. Lees
Luis Franco Marin
Jonathan Lazo
Andrés Rivera
Michael J. Shore
Stephen J. Lee


Glacially- and magmatically-derived seismic events have been noted to heavily overlap in characteristics, thus there exists the potential for false-alarms or missed warnings at ice-covered volcanoes. Here we present the first study to specifically target icequakes at an ice-covered volcano in Southern Chile. Two months of broadband seismic data collected at Llaima volcano in 2015 were analyzed in order to quantify, characterize, and locate glacially-derived seismic events at one of the most active ice-covered volcanoes in the region. We find over 1,000 repeating seismic events across 11 families, the largest of which contains 397 events. Approximate locations and characteristics of the largest families lead us to conclude that these events were derived from persistent stick-slip motion along the ice-rock interface at the base of a glacier near the volcano summit. These results have implications for future seismic monitoring at Llaima volcano and other ice-covered active volcanoes in the region.


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Lamb, O., Lees, J., Franco Marin, L., Lazo, J. ., Rivera, A. ., Shore, M. and Lee, S. (2020) “Investigating potential icequakes at Llaima volcano, Chile”, Volcanica, 3(1), pp. 29–42. doi: 10.30909/vol.03.01.2942.
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Received 2019-10-21
Accepted 2020-02-13
Published 2020-02-25
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