Volcanic eruptions are preceded by increased magma pressures, leading to the inflation of volcanic edifices1. Ground deformation resulting from volcano inflation can be revealed by various techniques such as spaceborne radar interferometry2, or by strain- and tiltmeters3. Monitoring this process in real time can provide us with useful information to forecast volcanic eruptions. In some cases, however, volcano inflation can be localized at depth with no measurable effects at the surface, and despite considerable effort4,5 monitoring changes in volcanic interiors has proven to be difficult. Here we use the properties of ambient seismic noise recorded over an 18-month interval to show that changes in the interior of the Piton de la Fournaise volcano can be monitored continuously by measuring very small relative seismic-velocity perturbations, of the order of 0.05%. Decreases in seismic velocity a few weeks before eruptions suggest pre-eruptive inflation of the volcanic edifice, probably due to increased magma pressure. The ability to record the inflation of volcanic edifices in this fashion should improve our ability to forecast eruptions and their intensity and potential environmental impact.
Subscribe to Journal
Get full journal access for 1 year
only $14.08 per issue
All prices are NET prices.
VAT will be added later in the checkout.
Rent or Buy article
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
Patanè, D., De Gori, P., Chiarabba, C. & Bonaccorso, A. Magma ascent and the pressurization of Mount Etna’s volcanic system. Science 299, 2061–2063 (2003).
Massonnet, D., Briole, P. & Arnaud, A. Deflation of Mount Etna monitored by spaceborne radar interferometry. Nature 375, 567–570 (2001).
Peltier, A., Ferrazzini, V., Staudacher, T. & Bachèlery, P. Imaging the dynamics of dyke propagation prior to the 2000–2003 flank eruptions at Piton de La Fournaise, Reunion Island. Geophys. Res. Lett. 32, L22302 (2005).
Ratdomopurbo, A. & Poupinet, G. Monitoring a temporal change of seismic velocity in a volcano: Application to the 1992 eruption of Mt. Merapi (Indonesia). Geophys. Res. Lett. 22, 775–778 (1995).
Snieder, R. & Hagerty, M. Monitoring change in volcanic interiors using coda wave interferometry: Application to Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica. Geophys. Res. Lett. 31, L09608 (2004).
Battaglia, J., Ferrazzini, V., Staudacher, T., Aki, K. & Cheminée, J.-L. Pre-eruptive migration of earthquakes at the Piton de la Fournaise volcano (Réunion Island). Geophys. J. Int. 161, 549–558 (2005).
Chouet, B. Long-period volcano seismicity: Its source and use in eruption forecasting. Nature 380, 309–316 (1996).
Chouet, B. Volcano seismology. Pure Appl. Geophys. 160, 739–788 (2003).
Poupinet, G., Ellsworth, W. L. & Frechet, J. Monitoring velocity variations in the crust using earthquake doublets: An application to the Calaveras Fault, California. J. Geophys. Res. 89, 5719–5731 (1984).
Wegler, U., Lühr, B.-G., Snieder, R. & Ratdomopurbo, A. Increase of shear wave velocity before the 1998 eruption of Merapi volcano (Indonesia). Geophys. Res. Lett. 33, L09303 (2006).
Grêt, A., Snieder, R., Aster, R. C. & Kyle, P. R. Monitoring rapid temporal change in a volcano with coda wave interferometry. Geophys. Res. Lett. 32, L06304 (2005).
Sabra, K. G., Roux, P., Gerstoft, P., Kuperman, W. A. & Fehler, M. C. Extracting coherent coda arrivals from cross-correlations of long period seismic waves during the Mount St. Helens 2004 eruption. Geophys. Res. Lett. 33, L06313 (2006).
Patanè, D., Barberi, G., Cocina, O., De Gori, P. & Chiarabba, C. Time-resolved seismic tomography detects magma intrusions at Mount Etna. Science 313, 821–823 (2006).
Weaver, R. L. & Lobkis, O. I. Ultrasonics without a source: Thermal fluctuation correlations at MHz frequencies. Phys. Rev. Lett. 87, 134301–134304 (2001).
Campillo, M. & Paul, A. Long-range correlations in the diffuse seismic coda. Science 299, 547–549 (2003).
Shapiro, N. M. & Campillo, M. Emergence of broadband Rayleigh waves from correlations of the ambient seismic noise. Geophys. Res. Lett. 31, L07614 (2004).
Sabra, K. G., Gerstoft, P., Roux, P., Kuperman, W. A. & Fehler, M. C. Extracting timedomain Green’s function estimates from ambient seismic noise. Geophys. Res. Lett. 32, L03310 (2005).
Campillo, M. Phase and correlation in random seismic fields and the reconstruction of the Green function. Pure Appl. Geophys. 163, 475–502 (2006).
Shapiro, N., Campillo, M., Stehly, L. & Ritzwoller, M. H. High-resolution surface-wave tomography from ambient seismic noise. Science 307, 1615–1618 (2005).
Sabra, K. G., Gerstoft, P., Roux, P., Kuperman, W. A. & Fehler, M. C. Surface wave tomography from microseisms in Southern California. Geophys. Res. Lett. 32, L14311 (2005).
Brenguier, F., Shapiro, N. M., Campillo, M., Nercessian, A. & Ferrazzini, V. 3D surface wave tomography of the Piton de la Fournaise volcano using seismic noise correlations. Geophys. Res. Lett. 34, L02305 (2007).
Stehly, L., Campillo, M. & Shapiro, N. M. Travel time measurements from noise correlation: Stability and detection of instrumental errors. Geophys. J. Int. 171, 223–230 (2007).
Sens-Schönfelder, C. & Wegler, U. Passive image interferometry and seasonal variations of seismic velocities at Merapi Volcano, Indonesia. Geophys. Res. Lett. 33, L21302 (2006).
Stieltjes, L. & Moutou, P. A statistical and probabilistic study of the historic activity of the Piton de la Fournaise, Réunion Island, Indian Ocean. J. Volcanol. Geotherm. Res. 36, 67–86 (1989).
Nercessian, A., Hirn, A., Lépine, J.-C. & Sapin, M. Internal structure of Piton de la Fournaise volcano from seismic wave propagation and earthquake distribution. J. Volcanol. Geotherm. Res. 70, 123–143 (1996).
Peltier, A. et al. Subtle precursors of volcanic eruptions at Piton de la Fournaise detected by extensometers. Geophys. Res. Lett. 33, L06315 (2006).
Pride, S. R. Hydrogeophysics Ch. 8, 253–290 (Water Science and Technology Library, Springer, Berlin, 2005).
Tait, S., Jaupart, C. & Vergniolle, S. Pressure, gas content and eruption periodicity of a shallow crystallising magma chamber. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 92, 107–123 (1989).
McLeod, P. & Tait, S. The growth of dykes from magma chambers. J. Volcanol. Geotherm. Res. 92, 231–245 (1999).
Voight, B. et al. Unprecedented pressure increase in deep magma reservoir triggered by lava-dome collapse. Geophys. Res. Lett. 33, L03312 (2006).
All the data used in this work were collected by the seismological network of the Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise. We are grateful to the Observatory staff. We thank L. Stehly, P. Gouédard, L. de Barros, E. Larose, P. Roux and C. Sens-Schönfelder for helpful discussions. We are grateful to A. Peltier and Meteo France for providing us with extensometer and meteorological data respectively. We thank F. Renard, I. Manighetti and G. Poupinet for constructive comments concerning the manuscript. This work was supported by ANR (France) under contracts 05-CATT-010-01 (PRECORSIS) and ANR-06-CEXC-005 (COHERSIS).
About this article
Cite this article
Brenguier, F., Shapiro, N., Campillo, M. et al. Towards forecasting volcanic eruptions using seismic noise. Nature Geosci 1, 126–130 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo104
Hydrothermal systems characterization of the Stromboli volcano using spatial and temporal changes of the seismic velocities.
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research (2021)
Seismological Research Letters (2021)
Pressure Controlled Permeability in a Conduit Filled with Fractured Hydrothermal Breccia Reconstructed from Ballistics from Whakaari (White Island), New Zealand
Crustal Strength Variations Inferred From Earthquake Stress Drop at Axial Seamount Surrounding the 2015 Eruption
Geophysical Research Letters (2020)
Retrieval of amplitude and attenuation from ambient seismic noise: synthetic data and practical considerations
Geophysical Journal International (2020)