At the end of 2010, the seismic activity in Aso volcano intensely increased and water level in the Nakadake crater decreased until early in 2011, then was followed by a small eruption in May 2011. After the eruption and heavy rain, the volcanic activity subsided to calm period, crater bottom was refilled with water, and water level increased in the Nakadake crater. The next tremor reappeared in 2014 and tracked to eruption in November 2014. This eruptive pattern and water level variation in the crater repeatedly appeared on the surface, and it should be related to the hydrothermal dynamics beneath Aso volcano.We initiated the gravity measurements in relation to hydrothermal dynamics in the subsurface of Aso volcano using Scintrex CG-5 (549) and LaCoste Romberg type G-1016 relative gravimeter at 28 benchmarks in April 2011, one month before the eruption. The repeated gravity measurements continue to monitor Aso volcano with a series of the measurement after the eruption in every three months to a half year. We analyze the gravity variation from 2011 to 2014 between the time of the phreatic and strombolian eruption. The measurements covered the area more than 60km2 in the west side of Aso caldera. A new gravity network was also installed in May 2010 at seven benchmarks using A10-017 absolute gravimeter, which re-occupied in October 2010, June 2011 and two benchmarks in June 2014.As a result, the gravity changes distinguish hydrothermal dynamic in the subsurface, which has a direct correlation to water level fluctuation in the crater, after the first eruption and before the second discharge. The monitoring data notice large gravity changes between the surveys at benchmarks around Nakadake crater and Kusasenri area. The simple 3D inversion models of the 4-D gravity data deduce the density contrast distribution beneath Aso volcano. The inversion and mass change result generate the oscillation typical as a new understanding model. The variation of the mass shows a similar trend with the hydrothermal input rate to the crater of past research. The third year monitoring from April 2013 displays a large gravity and mass variation, while precipitation data in this period is smaller than the previous season. The largest increased mass about 43. million tons by Gaussian method occurred between May 2013 and September 2013. According to the three year gravity monitoring, the calm period in Aso volcano happens after May 2011 eruption until September 2013, which is followed by the active period, before the November 2014 eruption. This result will contribute to understand the process of eruption.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geochemistry and Petrology