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Telesca, L., M. Lovallo, C. Lopez, and J. Marti Molist (2016), Multiparametric statistical investigation of seismicity occurred at El Hierro (Canary Islands) from 2011 to 2014, Tectonophysics, 672–673, 121-128, doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tecto.2016.01.045.

Abstract

A detailed statistical investigation of the seismicity occurred at El Hierro volcano (Canary Islands) from 2011 to 2014 has been performed by analysing the time variation of four parameters: the Gutenberg-Richter b-value, the local coefficient of variation, the scaling exponent of the magnitude distribution and the main periodicity of the earthquake sequence calculated by using the Schuster's test. These four parameters are good descriptors of the time and magnitude distributions of the seismic sequence, and their variation indicate dynamical changes in the volcanic system. These variations can be attributed to the causes and types of seismicity, thus allowing to distinguish between different host-rock fracturing processes caused by intrusions of magma at different depths and overpressures. The statistical patterns observed among the studied unrest episodes and between them and the eruptive episode of 2011-2012 indicate that the response of the host rock to the deformation imposed by magma intrusion did not differ significantly from one episode to the other, thus suggesting that no significant local stress changes induced by magma intrusion occurred when comparing between all them. Therefore, despite the studied unrest episodes were caused by intrusions of magma at different depths and locations below El Hierro island, the mechanical response of the lithosphere was similar in all cases. This suggests that the reason why the first unrest culminated in an eruption while the other did not, may be related to the role of the regional/local tectonics acting at that moment, rather than to the forceful of magma intrusion.

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