Insights on volcanic behaviour from the 2015 July 23-24 T-phase signals generated by eruptions at Kick-’em-Jenny Submarine Volcano, Grenada, Lesser Antilles
Thursday, 17 December 2015: 17:45
307 (Moscone South)
Kick-’em-Jenny volcano (KeJ) is the only known active submarine volcano in the Lesser Antilles Arc. Since 1939, the year it revealed itself, and until the volcano-seismic unrest of 2015 July 11-25 , the volcano has erupted 12 times. Only two eruptions breached the surface: 1939, 1974. The volcano has an average eruption cycle of about 10-11 years. Excluding the Montserrat, Soufrière Hills, KeJ is the most active volcano in the Lesser Antilles arc. The University of the West Indies, Seismic Research Centre (SRC) has been monitoring KeJ since 1953. On July 23 and 24 at 1:42 am and 0:02 am local time, respectively, the SRC recorded T-phase signals , considered to have been generated by KeJ. Both signals were recorded at seismic stations in and north of Grenada: SRC seismic stations as well as the French volcano observatories in Guadeloupe and Martinique, Montserrat Volcano Observatory, and the Puerto Rico Seismic Network. These distant recordings, along with the experience of similar observations in previous eruptions, allowed the SRC to confirm that two explosive eruptions occurred in this episode at KeJ. Up to two days after the second eruption, when aerial surveillance was done, there was no evidence of activity at the surface. During the instrumental era, eruptions of the KeJ have been identified from T-phases recorded at seismic stations from Trinidad, in the south, to Puerto Rico, in the north. In the 2015 July eruption episode, the seismic station in Trinidad did not record T-phases associated with the KeJ eruptions. In this study we compare the T-phase signals of 2015 July with those recorded in KeJ eruptions up to 1974 to explore possible causative features for the T-phase recording pattern in KeJ eruptions. In particular, we investigate the potential role played by the Sound Fixing and Ranging (SOFAR) layer in influencing the absence of the T-phase on the Trinidad seismic station during this eruption.