Magma accumulation beneath Santorini volcano, Greece, from P-wave tomography

TitleMagma accumulation beneath Santorini volcano, Greece, from P-wave tomography
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsMcVey, BG, Hooft, EEE, Heath, BA, Toomey, DR, Paulatto, M, Morgan, JV, Nomikou, P, Papazachos, CB
Date Publishedmar

Despite multidisciplinary evidence for crustal magma accumulation below Santorini volcano, Greece, the structure and melt content of the shallow magmatic system remain poorly constrained. We use three-dimensional (3-D) velocity models from tomographic inversions of active-source seismic P-wave travel times to identify a pronounced low-velocity anomaly (–21%) from 2.8 km to 5 km depth localized below the northern caldera basin. This anomaly is consistent with depth estimates of pre-eruptive storage and a recent inflation episode, supporting the interpretation of a shallow magma body that causes seismic attenuation and ray bending. A suite of synthetic tests shows that the geometry is well recovered while a range of melt contents (4%–13% to fully molten) are allowable. A thin mush region (2%–7% to 3%–10% melt) extends from the main magma body toward the northeast, observed as low velocities confined by tectono-magmatic lineaments. This anomaly terminates northwest of Kolumbo; little to no melt underlies the seamount from 3 to 5 km depth. These structural constraints suggest that crustal extension and edifice loads control the geometry of magma accumulation and emphasize that the shallow crust remains conducive to melt storage shortly after a caldera-forming eruption.


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