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- PublicationRelating gas ascent to eruption triggering for the April 27, 2016, White Island (Whakaari), New Zealand eruption sequenceThe April 27, 2016 eruption sequence at White Island was comprised of 6 discrete eruptive events that occurred over a 35-min period. Seismicity included three episodes of VLP activity: the first occurring ~ 2 h and a second occurring 10 min prior to the first eruption. A third larger VLP event occurred just prior to the fourth eruption. A VLP source depth of 800–1000 m below the vent is obtained from an analysis of the waveform semblance, and a volumetric source is obtained from waveform inversion of the largest VLP event. Lag times between VLP occurrence and eruption onsets provide an opportunity to examine gas migration and stress transfer models as potential triggers to the eruptive activity. Plausible lag times for a deep gas pulse to the surface are obtained by application of a TOUGH2 computational model which suggests propagation times of 0.25–1.9 m/s and are informed by previously measured White Island rock porosities and permeabilities. Results suggest that pre-eruption VLP may be plausibly linked to advection of gas from the VLP source at a magmatic carapace located ~ 800–1000 m depth. Alternatively, the large VLP that occurred just prior to the fourth eruption may be linked to a quasi-dynamic or quasi-static stress perturbation.
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