Decadal Timescale Correlations Between Global Earthquake Activity and Volcanic Eruption Rates

Alex Jenkins*, Juliet J Biggs, Alison C Rust, Jonty C Rougier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

At the global scale, large tectonic earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are believed to be random and independent events. Here, we compare global time-series of large earthquakes (Mw ≥ 7) and explosive volcanic eruptions (VEI ≥ 2) spanning 1960–2019. Both time-series exhibit decadal timescale trends, over which annual earthquake and eruption rates vary by a factor of ≈2. Moreover, global seismic moment release is positively correlated with global eruption rate, with Monte Carlo permutation tests showing that this correlation is significant with a P-value of <0.05. Although large earthquakes can trigger eruptions at nearby volcanoes, the magnitude of this effect is insufficient to cause the observed global correlation. Other mechanisms, such as triggering of distant eruptions (>1000 km) by earthquake-induced dynamic stress changes, modulation of global earthquake and eruption rates by variations in Earth's rotational velocity, or natural synchronization of events over repeating cycles, are therefore required to explain the correlation.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2021GL093550
Number of pages10
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume48
Issue number16
Early online date26 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Natural Environment Research Council (NE/L002434/1). A. P. Jenkins and J. Biggs are supported by the NERC Centre for the Observation and Modelling of Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tectonics (COMET, http://comet.nerc.ac.uk), a partnership between UK Universities and the British Geological Survey. The authors are grateful for the constructive and helpful comments of two anonymous reviewers.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Natural Environment Research Council (NE/L002434/1). A. P. Jenkins and J. Biggs are supported by the NERC Centre for the Observation and Modelling of Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tectonics (COMET, http://comet.nerc.ac.uk ), a partnership between UK Universities and the British Geological Survey. The authors are grateful for the constructive and helpful comments of two anonymous reviewers.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

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