Earthquake-Triggered Crustal Shear Velocity Change at the Erupting Turrialba Volcano

Colton Lynner, Susan L. Beck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Monitoring variations in seismic velocities surrounding active volcanoes provides insights into crustal deformation caused by eruptions and earthquakes. Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica has been erupting sporadically since 2010 and experienced a local seismic swarm in 2016, including the Mw 5.5 Capellades earthquake. It is thus an ideal natural laboratory to study crustal velocity changes associated with a seismic event at an active volcano. We use seismic noise-generated surface waves to characterize emergent upper crustal velocity variations following the earthquake sequence off the flank of the volcano. Our study high-lights a rapid velocity drop immediately following the earthquake implying widespread damage and/or a readjustment of local stress. From the frequency dependence of surface waves, we find that the depth over which the velocities vary is localized to the upper ∼ 2.5 km of the crust, coinciding with the depth extent of the Capellades earthquake after-shock sequence as well as the shallow magma chamber feeding the Turrialban eruption. From the areal extent of the velocity decrease, crustal variations are likely tied to both damage following the seismic sequence and the evolution of the shallow magma reservoir feeding Turrialba.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2069-2076
Number of pages8
JournalBulletin of the Seismological Society of America
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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