Volcanic Activities of Hakkoda Volcano after the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake

Monday, 15 December 2014
Mare Yamamoto and Satoshi Miura, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
The 2011 Tohoku Earthquake of 11 March 2011 generated large deformation in and around the Japanese islands, and the large crustal deformation raises fear of further disasters including triggered volcanic activities. In this presentation, as an example of such potential triggered volcanic activities, we report the recent seismic activities of Hakkoda volcano, and discuss the relation to the movement of volcanic fluids.
Hakkoda volcano is a group of stratovolcanoes at the northern end of Honshu Island, Japan. There are fumaroles and hot springs around the volcano, and phreatic eruptions from Jigoku-numa on the southwestern flank of Odake volcano, which is the highest peak of the volcanic group, were documented in its history. Since just after the occurrence of the Tohokui Earthquake, the seismicity around the volcano became higher, and the migration of hypocenters of volcano-tectonic (VT) earthquakes was observed.
In addition to these VT earthquakes, long-period (LP) events started occurring beneath Odake at a depth of about 2-3 km since February, 2013, and subtle crustal deformation caused by deep inflation source was also detected by the GEONET GNSS network around the same time. The spectra of LP events are common between events irrespective of the magnitude of events, and they have several spectral peaks at 6-7 sec, 2-3 sec, 1 sec, and so on. These LP events sometimes occur like a swarm with an interval of several minutes. The characteristics of observed LP events at Hakkoda volcano are similar to those of LP events at other active volcanoes and hydrothermal area in the world, where abundant fluids exist. Our further analysis using far-field Rayleigh radiation pattern observed by NIED Hi-net stations reveals that the source of LP events is most likely to be a nearly vertical tensile crack whose strike is NE-SW direction. The strike is almost perpendicular to the direction of maximum extensional strain estimated from the geodetic analysis, and is almost parallel to the direction connecting Odake summit crater and Jigoku-numa.
These results suggest that the extensional field generated by the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake causes the upward movement of volcanic fluids and heat from the deep, and results in an activation of hydrothermal activities at the pre-existent fracture zone at the Hakkoda volcanic group.