Space-geodetic evidence for multiple magma reservoirs and subvolcanic lateral intrusions at Fernandina Volcano, Galápagos Islands

Marco Bagnardi, Falk Amelung

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Using Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) measurements of the surface deformation at Fernandina Volcano, Galápagos (Ecuador), acquired between January 2003 and September 2010, we study the structure and the dynamics of the shallow magmatic system of the volcano. Through the analysis of spatial and temporal variations of the measured line-of-sight displacement we identify multiple sources of deformation beneath the summit and the southern flank. At least two sources are considered to represent permanent zones of magma storage given their persistent or recurrent activity. Elastic deformation models indicate the presence of a flat-topped magma reservoir at ∼1.1 km below sea level and an oblate-spheroid cavity at ∼4.9 km b.s.l. The two reservoirs are hydraulically connected. This inferred structure of the shallow storage system is in agreement with previous geodetic studies and previous petrological analysis of both subaerial and submarine lavas. The almost eight-year-long observation interval provides for the first time geodetic evidence for two subvolcanic lateral intrusions from the central storage system (in December 2006 and August 2007). Subvolcanic lateral intrusions could provide the explanation for enigmatic volcanic events at Fernandina such as the rapid uplift at Punta Espinoza in 1927 and the 1968 caldera collapse without significant eruption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberB10406
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2012


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science

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