skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Wauthier, C."

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract

    Between 2015 and 2021, Nyiragongo's lava lake level experienced a linear increase punctuated by fast intermittent drops. These drops occurred synchronously to seismic swarm at approximately 15 km below the surface and extending laterally NE from the volcano. To interpret these lava lake level patterns in terms of reservoirs pressure evolution within Nyiragongo, we consider the following simplified plumbing system: a central reservoir is fed by a constant flux of magma, distributing the fluid up into the lava lake and laterally into a distal storage zone. Magma transport is driven by a pressure gradient between the magma storage bodies, accommodating influx and outflow of magma elastically, and the lava lake. Lateral transport at depth occurs through a hydraulic connection for which the flow resistance is coupled to the magma flux. When the right conditions are met, lateral magma transport occurs intermittently and triggers intermittent lava lake level drops matching the observations.

    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    Classical mechanisms of volcanic eruptions mostly involve pressure buildup and magma ascent towards the surface1. Such processes produce geophysical and geochemical signals that may be detected and interpreted as eruption precursors1–3. On 22 May 2021, Mount Nyiragongo (Democratic Republic of the Congo), an open-vent volcano with a persistent lava lake perched within its summit crater, shook up this interpretation by producing an approximately six-hour-long flank eruption without apparent precursors, followed—rather than preceded—by lateral magma motion into the crust. Here we show that this reversed sequence was most likely initiated by a rupture of the edifice, producing deadly lava flows and triggering a voluminous 25-km-long dyke intrusion. The dyke propagated southwards at very shallow depth (less than 500 m) underneath the cities of Goma (Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Gisenyi (Rwanda), as well as Lake Kivu. This volcanic crisis raises new questions about the mechanisms controlling such eruptions and the possibility of facing substantially more hazardous events, such as effusions within densely urbanized areas, phreato-magmatism or a limnic eruption from the gas-rich Lake Kivu. It also more generally highlights the challenges faced with open-vent volcanoes for monitoring, early detection and risk management when a significant volume of magma is stored close to the surface.

    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    Volcanoes are hazardous to local and global populations, but only a fraction are continuously monitored by ground‐based sensors. For example, in Latin America, more than 60% of Holocene volcanoes are unmonitored, meaning long‐term multiparameter data sets of volcanic activity are rare and sparse. We use satellite observations of degassing, thermal anomalies, and surface deformation spanning 17 years at 47 of the most active volcanoes in Latin America and compare these data sets to ground‐based observations archived by the Global Volcanism Program. This first comparison of multisatellite time series on a regional scale provides information regarding volcanic behavior during, noneruptive, pre‐eruptive, syneruptive, and posteruptive periods. For example, at Copahue volcano, deviations from background activity in all three types of satellite measurements were manifested months to years in advance of renewed eruptive activity in 2012. By quantifying the amount of degassing, thermal output, and deformation measured at each of these volcanoes, we test the classification of these volcanoes as open or closed volcanic systems. We find that ~28% of the volcanoes do not fall into either classification, and the rest show elements of both, demonstrating a dynamic range of behavior that can change over time. Finally, we recommend how volcano monitoring could be improved through better coordination of available satellite‐based capabilities and new instruments.

    more » « less