loading page

Moment tensors of ring-faulting at active volcanoes: Insights into vertical-CLVD earthquakes at the Sierra Negra caldera, Galápagos Islands
  • +3
  • Osamu Sandanbata,
  • Hiroo Kanamori,
  • Luis Rivera,
  • Zhongwen Zhan,
  • Shingo Watada,
  • Kenji Satake
Osamu Sandanbata
Now at National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention, Now at National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention

Corresponding Author:osm3@bosai.go.jp

Author Profile
Hiroo Kanamori
Caltech, Caltech
Author Profile
Luis Rivera
Université de Strasbourg, Université de Strasbourg
Author Profile
Zhongwen Zhan
California Institute of Technology, California Institute of Technology
Author Profile
Shingo Watada
University of Tokyo, University of Tokyo
Author Profile
Kenji Satake
University of Tokyo, University of Tokyo
Author Profile


Large earthquakes (Mw > 5) with moment tensors (MTs) dominated by a vertical compensated-linear-vector-dipole (vertical-CLVD) component are often generated by dip slip along a curved ring-fault system at active volcanoes. However, relating their MTs to ring-fault parameters has proved difficult. The objective of this study is to find a robust way of estimating ring-fault parameters based on their MT solutions obtained from long-period seismic records. We first model the MTs of idealized ring-faulting and show that an MT component representing the vertical dip-slip mechanism is indeterminate from long-period seismic waves owing to a shallow source depth, whereas the other MT components representing the vertical-CLVD and vertical strike-slip mechanisms are resolvable. We then propose a new method for estimating the arc angle and orientation of ring-faulting using the two resolvable MT components. For validation, we study a vertical-CLVD earthquake that occurred during the 2005 volcanic activity at the Sierra Negra caldera, Galápagos Islands. The resolvable MT components are stably determined from long-period seismic waves, and our estimation of the ring-fault parameters is consistent with the ring-fault geometry identified by previous geodetic studies and field surveys. We also estimate ring-fault parameters of two earthquakes that took place during the 2018 activity at the caldera, revealing significant differences between the two earthquakes in terms of slip direction and location. These results show the usefulness of our method for estimating ring-fault parameters of vertical-CLVD earthquakes, enabling us to examine the kinematics and structures below active volcanoes with ring faults that are distributed globally.
Jun 2021Published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth volume 126 issue 6. 10.1029/2021JB021693