Seismic Tremor Generated by Multiple Processes, Vatnajökull Glacier, Iceland

Monday, 15 December 2014
Eva Patricia Silke Eibl1, Christopher J Bean1 and Kristin S Vogfjord2, (1)University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland, (2)Icelandic Meteorological Office, Reykjavik, Iceland
Vatnajökull glacier in eastern Iceland covers five volcanic systems in which Bárdarbunga and Grimsvötn are the most active volcanoes. Whilst fluctuating ice cover mitigates against year-round near-field monitoring of the volcanoes, important information can be gleaned from stations deployed at the glacier's edge. Glacial cover significantly increases the complexity of and the solution space for observed seismic signals. For example tremor can be caused by magmatic activity, intra-glacier interactions, melt water flow or hydrothermal boiling. A better understanding of hazard requires a more indepth understanding of the signals generated by these processes at Vatnajökull. We augmented the sparse network in the region with two seven-element broad band seismometer arrays west of Vatnajökull, in Jökulheimar and near Laki respectively. Observed seismic tremor-like transients (< 2 Hz) originating from two cauldrons west of Grimsvötn are directly associated with small flooding events (jökulhaups), as subsequently confirmed by radar and hydrological observations. For larger longer duration floods dominant harmonic tremor frequencies of 2 to 4 Hz are observed, but they change in amplitude and frequency with time, likely reflecting variable feed and flow rates, associated with a moving source. Our aim is to 'fingerprint' these events such that they can be distinguished from seismic tremor signals associated with magmatic activity.