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Three-dimensional seismic velocity structure beneath Aso Volcano, Kyushu, Japan


Tomographic results for P- and S-wave velocity structure beneath the active Aso Volcano, Kyushu, Japan, using 800 well-recorded earthquakes and ten shots recorded by an eight-station seismic network, are presented. A 68% variance reduction was achieved upon simultaneous inversion for hypocenter and velocity structure. Well-resolved velocity anomalies associated with the active crater reveal heterogeneity up to 26% slower and 18% faster in P velocity, and up to 31% slower and 22% faster in S velocity, than the one-dimensional model. The largest anomaly is seen over the upper 11 km in the central and northern parts beneath the central cones. Two low-velocity regions are imaged. The first region, a 10×15-km region encompassing the upper 3 km centered near the caldera wall at Tateno Valley, is characterized by P velocities up to 19% slower (20% for S). The second low-velocity region is associated with the central cones and active magma conduit system at 6 km depth. Velocities as low as 4.3 km/s (up to 26%) in P and 2 km/s (31% slower) in S characterize the 7-km-wide volume. The magma chamber is roughly spherical in shape, centered at 6 km depth, flattens at 10 km depth, and is located between Mt. Kishima, Mt. Eboshi, and Mt. Naka, the present focus of magmatism. A sharp velocity contrast at the depth of 3 km, with high velocities to the southwest and lower velocities to the northeast, characterizes different abutting structures associated with the Oita-Kumamoto Tectonic Line.

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Sudo, Y., Kong, L. Three-dimensional seismic velocity structure beneath Aso Volcano, Kyushu, Japan. Bull Volcanol 63, 326–344 (2001).

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  • Magma chamber Aso Volcano 3D-velocity structure Low-velocity region Magma conduit system Tomography Oita-Kumamoto Tectonic Line