The gravimetric picture of magmatic and hydrothermal sources driving hybrid unrest on Tenerife in 2004/5

Ilya Prutkin, Peter Vajda, Joachim H Gottsmann

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

9 Citations (Scopus)


We present results from the inversion of gravity changes observed at the central volcanic complex (CVC) of Tenerife, Canary Islands, between May 2004 and July 2005. Marking a period of elevated activity and a reawakening of the volcanic system, the data depict spatial and temporal variations in the sub-surface processes that defined this period of unrest at the Pico Viejo (PV)–Pico Teide (PT) complex, after the last volcanic eruption on Tenerife in 1909. An initial non-linear inversion, based on 3D line segments approximation, yielded three line segments at depths between 1 km a.s.l. and 2 km b.s.l. Our interpretation of the initial inversion results is that the line segments represent apparent composite sources, a superposition of deep and shallow seated sources. We therefore decomposed the gravity changes into shallow and deep parts (fields) using a procedure based on triple harmonic continuation. The shallow and deep fields could then be inverted separately, using the same inversion methodology. The deep field constrains two connected line segments at the depth of about 6 km b.s.l., in the center of the NW seismogenic zone of VT event swarm of the seismic unrest, that we interpret as magma input. The inversion of the shallow field images three weak line segments that are all situated at very shallow, near-surface depths. We interpret the weak segments as hydrothermal sources potentially excited by the deeper magma injection. Our results indicate no significant input into the shallow phonolitic plumbing system of the PV–PT complex, but rather a deeper-seated rejuvenation of the mafic feeder reservoir. The emerging picture from our analysis is that the 2004/5 unrest on Tenerife was of a hybrid nature due to the combination of a deep magma injection (failed eruption?) coupled with fluid migration to shallow depths. The identified causative link between deep and shallow unrest sources indicates the presence of permeable pathways for shallow fluid migration at the CVC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-18
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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