Very-low-frequency resistivity, self-potential and ground temperature surveys on Taal volcano (Philippines): Implications for future activity

Publication Date : 2017-06-15
Author : Zlotnicki, J.Vargemezis, G.Johnston, M. J. S.Sasai, Y.Reniva, P.Alanis, P.
Countries : Philippines
Disaster Management Theme :
Disaster Type : Volcano
Document Type : Research Paper
Languange : en
Link :

Abstact :

Taal volcano is one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the Philippines. Thirty-three eruptions have occurred through historical time with several exhibiting cataclysmic phases. Most recent eruptions are confined to Volcano Island located within the prehistoric Taal collapse caldera that is now filled by Taal Lake. The last eruptive activity from 1965 to 1977 took place from Mt. Tabaro, about 2 km to the southwest of the Main Crater center. Since this time, episodes of seismic activity, ground deformation, gas release, surface fissuring, fumarole activity and temperature changes are recorded periodically around the main crater, but no major eruption has occurred. This period of quiescence is the third longest period without eruptive activity since 1572. In March 2010, a campaign based on Very-Low-Frequency (VLF) resistivity surveys together with repeated surveys of self-potential, ground temperature and fissure activity was intensified and the results compared to a large-scale Electrical Resistivity Tomography experiment. This work fortunately occurred before, within and after a new seismovolcanic crisis from late April 2010 to March 2011. The joint analysis of these new data, together with results from previous magnetotelluric soundings, allows a better description of the electrical resistivity and crustal structure beneath the Main Crater down to a depth of several kilometers. No indication of growth of the two geothermal areas located on both sides of the northern crater rim was apparent from 2005 to March 2010. These areas appear controlled by active fissures, opened during the 1992 and 1994 crises, that dip downward towards the core of the hydrothermal system located at about 2.5 km depth beneath the crater. Older mineralized fissures at lower elevations to the North of the geothermal areas also dip downward under the crater. Repeated self-potential and ground temperature surveys completed between 2005 and 2015 show new geothermal and hydrothermal activity in the areas of these older mineralized fissures that occurred during the April 2010 to March 2011 seismovolcanic crisis. This dramatically extends the geothermal activity further to the North on the volcano. The occurrence of these newly activated fissures after a long period of quiescence and indications of inflation in mid-2010 under the North rim of the Main Crater suggests that new eruptive activity near the North rim of the crater could occur in the future.