Steady downslope movement on the western flank of Arenal volcano, Costa Rica

S. K. Ebmeier, J. Biggs, T. A. Mather, G. Wadge, Falk C Amelung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The edifice of a volcano is a unique deformational environment, dependent not just on active volcanic processes but also on its composition, structure, and morphology. We measured the deformation of Volcn Arenal, Costa Rica, using interferograms constructed from both ALOS and RadarSat data between 2005 and 2009. The volcano's western flanks are moving downslope at an angle of ∼55° below the horizontal plane and a consistent rate of at least ∼7 cm/yr. We use the pattern, rate, and direction of motion to test several hypotheses for its origin. Our favored explanation is creep along a shallow sliding plane, most likely the interface between deposits postdating the 1968 lateral blast eruption and the older lavas and paleosoils beneath. Our measurement of slope movement adds to a small set of rate measurements for gravity-driven deformation at volcanoes and is distinctive in both its relatively high rate and shallow origin. Observation of deformation at Arenal contributes both to the assessment of particular hazards around Arenal itself and, more generally, to the study of the stability of young stratovolcanoes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberQ12004
JournalGeochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
Volume11
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

Fingerprint

Costa Rica
Volcanoes
volcanoes
volcano
Radarsat
ALOS
stratovolcano
Hazards
Gravitation
Creep
blasts
Deposits
volcanic eruptions
creep
hazards
sliding
volcanology
interferometry
volcanic eruption
deposits

Keywords

  • Arenal
  • deformation
  • InSAR
  • volcano

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics

Cite this

Steady downslope movement on the western flank of Arenal volcano, Costa Rica. / Ebmeier, S. K.; Biggs, J.; Mather, T. A.; Wadge, G.; Amelung, Falk C.

In: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, Vol. 11, No. 12, Q12004, 2010.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ebmeier, S. K. ; Biggs, J. ; Mather, T. A. ; Wadge, G. ; Amelung, Falk C. / Steady downslope movement on the western flank of Arenal volcano, Costa Rica. In: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. 2010 ; Vol. 11, No. 12.
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