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Instituto de Investigação
em Vulcanologia e Avaliação de Riscos
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Referência Bibliográfica

OKADA, J., SIGMUNDSSON, F., ÓFEIGSSON, B., FERREIRA, T., RODRIGUES, R. (2015) - Tectonic and volcanic deformation at São Miguel Island, Azores, observed by continuous GPS analysis 2008-13. In: Gaspar, J.L., Guest, J.E., Duncan, A.M., Barriga, F.J.A.S., Chester, D.K. (eds.) Volcanic Geology of São Miguel Island (Azores Archipelago). Geological Society of London Memoir, 44: 239-256, doi: 10.1144/M44.18​​.


​We use a Global Positioning System (GPS) to unravel the complex geodynamics of the Azores Triple Junction where tectonic and volcanic activities coexist. The temporal analysis of densely distributed continuous GPS data on Sa˜o Miguel for the period 2008–13 provides an improved understanding of interactions between present-day plate boundary kinematics and volcanic deformation. We find a high-strain-rate (0.28 ppm a – 1) zone between Congro and Furnas, which accommodates about 50% of the Eurasian–Nubian plate spreading as predicted by the MORVEL plate angular velocity model. The seismic unrest of Fogo–Congro (2011–12) shows a strong similarity with the Matsushiro (Japan) earthquake swarm (1965–66) and the Campi Flegrei (Italy) volcanic unrest (1969–72 and 1982–85), in that an edifice-scale inflation associated with intense high-frequency earthquakes and inflation–deflation reversals coincided with a sharp drop in seismicity. We propose the following hypothesis for the Fogo unrest: (1) the primary inflation source beneath Fogo promotes lateral diffusion of fluids that is selectively guided by existing cracks/fissures formed from regional extension; (2) an influx of fluids increases pressure in cracks/fissures and generates lower-frequency earthquakes; and (3) discharge of fluids causes pressure decrease and dilatancy recovery (i.e. seismic quiescence).