Insights into volcanic processes using seismic data techniques

Ezer Patlan Almeida, University of Texas at El Paso


The country of Kenya, lying within the East African Rift System (EARS), has been continuously studied for geothermal energy production. EARS, an active continental rift zone, has a number of active and inactive volcanoes throughout its extent that represent potential sources for geothermal energy. The University of Texas at El Paso and the Kenyan Geothermal Development Company (GDC) collaborated to monitor several volcanic centers by deploying 14 passive seismic instruments around Menengai caldera. The temporary seismic network is located close to Nakuru city and it is southeast from the main capital of Nairobi city. Using this local seismic network, we located 198 earthquake hypocenters, which help to identify the margin of the volcano and caldera and faults that could form conduits for fluid flow. In particular, we performed double-difference location and a b-value analysis to define the behavior of magma systems feeding the caldera. Focal mechanisms delineate a normal and low-angle thrust fault striking NE-SW of the caldera floor. We compare our seismicity to InSAR results from different timelines in order to better understand the volcanic process. We suggest that the seismicity is related to magma passing through conduits of the magma chamber and/or fluid being transported as a function of magma movement or hydrothermal activity.

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Recommended Citation

Patlan Almeida, Ezer, "Insights into volcanic processes using seismic data techniques" (2016). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10151242.