Short-term volcano-tectonic earthquake forecasts based on a moving mean recurrence time algorithm: the El Hierro seismo-volcanic crisis experience

Alicia García, Servando De la Cruz-Reyna, José M. Marrero, Ramón Ortiz
2016 Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences  
<p><strong>Abstract.</strong> Under certain conditions, volcano-tectonic (VT) earthquakes may pose significant hazards to people living in or near active volcanic regions, especially on volcanic islands; however, hazard arising from VT activity caused by localized volcanic sources is rarely addressed in the literature. The evolution of VT earthquakes resulting from a magmatic intrusion shows some orderly behaviour that may allow the occurrence and magnitude of major events to be forecast. Thus
more » ... be forecast. Thus governmental decision makers can be supplied with warnings of the increased probability of larger-magnitude earthquakes on the short-term timescale. We present here a methodology for forecasting the occurrence of large-magnitude VT events during volcanic crises; it is based on a mean recurrence time (MRT) algorithm that translates the Gutenberg-Richter distribution parameter fluctuations into time windows of increased probability of a major VT earthquake. The MRT forecasting algorithm was developed after observing a repetitive pattern in the seismic swarm episodes occurring between July and November 2011 at El Hierro (Canary Islands). From then on, this methodology has been applied to the consecutive seismic crises registered at El Hierro, achieving a high success rate in the real-time forecasting, within 10-day time windows, of volcano-tectonic earthquakes.</p>
doi:10.5194/nhess-16-1135-2016 fatcat:psywg3snn5dntj7jhfarl522o4