O'Brien, G. S.
O'Brien, G. S.
O'Brien, G. S.
Now showing 1 - 10 of 10
- PublicationInvestigating the source characteristics of long-period (LP) seismic events recorded on Piton de la Fournaise volcano, La Réunion(Elsevier, 2013-05-15)
; ; ; ;Magmatic and hydrothermal processes play a significant role in generating seismicity at active volcanoes. These signals can be recorded at the surface and can be used to obtain an insight into the volcano's internal dynamics. Long period (LP) events are of particular interest as they often accompany or precede volcanic eruptions, but they are still not well understood. Piton de la Fournaise volcano, La Réunion Island, is one of the most active volcanoes in the world however LP events are rarely recorded there. A seismic network of 20 broadband seismometers has been operational on Piton de la Fournaise volcano since November 2009. Between November 2009 and January 2011 the volcano erupted five times, but only 15 LP events were recorded. Three of these eruptions were preceded by LP events, and several LP events were recorded during an intrusive phase. A family of three repeating LP events exists within the dataset. In order to characterize these events we locate and perform moment tensor inversion on the LP family. The LP events are located within the summit crater at shallow depths (< 200 m below the surface). Inversions show that the source mechanism is best represented by a tensile crack with horizontal crack geometry. We also investigate the relationship between LP occurrence and eruptive characteristics (size of the eruption, deformation of the edifice, etc.), and we find that the events exist only during flank eruptions and can be generated by the activity of the hydrothermal system and/or by the deformation inside the crater. 336Scopus© Citations 12
- PublicationDiffraction imaging of sedimentary basins: An example from the Porcupine Basin(Copernicus, 2021-04-30)
; ; ; ;iffraction imaging is the technique of separating diffraction energy from the source wavefield and processing it independently. As diffractions are formed from objects and discontinuities, or diffractors, which are small in comparison to the wavelength, if the diffraction energy is imaged, so too are the diffractors. These diffractors take many forms such as faults, fractures, and pinch-out points, and are therefore geologically significant. Diffraction imaging has been applied here to the Porcupine Basin; a hyperextended basin located 200km to the southwest of Ireland with a rich geological history. The basin has seen interest both academically and industrially as a study on hyperextension and a potential source of hydrocarbons. The data is characterised by two distinct, basin-wide, fractured carbonates nestled between faulted sandstones and mudstones. Additionally, there are both mass-transport deposits and fans present throughout the data, which pose a further challenge for diffraction imaging. Here, we propose the usage of diffraction imaging to better image structures both within the carbonate, such as fractures, and below. 174
- PublicationStatistical selection of the 'best' seismic source mechanisms from inversions of synthetic volcanic long-period events(American Geophysical Union, 2010-09)
; ;Inversions for the source mechanism of long‐period (LP) seismicity recorded on volcanoes have become increasingly common and are used to interpret fluid‐driven processes. The source mechanism considered for LP inversions usually consists of a symmetric moment tensor with and without single forces. Also, constrained inversions have been performed where one presumes a specific source geometry that reduces the degrees of freedom in the inversion. To select the correct solution from the different possible mechanisms, the Akaike information criterion (AIC) has been used. However, since AIC performs well only if the inverted model is close to the true model, we tested its ability to select the correct model in LP inversions. Using synthetic data sets generated on Mt. Etna, Italy, with a tomography velocity model and the Green’s functions calculated for a simplified, homogeneous velocity model, we have investigated (1) if any of the inversion source models can recover the true mechanism and (2) the ability of the Akaike and Bayesian information criteria (BIC) to select the correct model. Results show that in some cases it is possible to recover the mechanism but never the source magnitude and that the BIC is a better measure than the AIC in selecting the true source model, although in numerous cases both criteria fail to select the correct solution. Therefore, the BIC should be used as opposed to the AIC if it is necessary to select an appropriate source. Caution should be used when using the statistical measure in any seismic inversion application. 221Scopus© Citations 13
- PublicationSource mechanism of long period events recorded by a high density seismic network during the 2008 eruption on Mount Etna(American Geophysical Union, 2011-01)
; ; ; ; ;129 Long Period (LP) events, divided into two families of similar events, were recorded by the 50 stations deployed on Mount Etna in the second half of June 2008. During this period lava was flowing from a lateral fracture after a summit strombolian eruption. In order to understand the mechanisms of these events, we perform moment tensor inversions. Inversions are initially kept unconstrained to estimate the most likely mechanism. Numerical tests show that unconstrained inversion leads to reliable moment tensor solutions because of the close proximity of numerous stations to the source positions. However, single forces cannot be accurately determined as they are very sensitive to uncertainties in the velocity model. Constrained inversions for a crack, a pipe or an explosion then allow us to accurately determine the structural orientations of the source mechanisms. Both numerical tests and LP event inversions emphasise the importance of using stations located as close as possible to the source. Inversions for both families show mechanisms with a strong volumetric component. These events are most likely generated by cracks striking SW-NE for both families and dipping 70 degrees SE (Family 1) and 50 degrees NW (Family 2). For Family 1 events, the crack geometry is nearly orthogonal to the dike-like structure along which events are located, while for Family 2 the location gave two pipe-like bodies which belong to the same plane as the crack mechanism. The orientations of the cracks are consistent with local tectonics, which shows a SW-NE weakness direction. The LP events appear to be a response to the lava fountain occurring on the 10th of May, 2008 as opposed to the flank lava flow. 261Scopus© Citations 32
- PublicationMoment tensor inversion for the source location and mechanism of long period (LP) seismic events from 2009 at Turrialba volcano, Costa Rica(Elsevier, 2013-05-15)
; ; ; ; ; ;Long-period (LP) seismic events were recorded during the temporary installation of a broadband seismic network of 13 stations from March to September 2009 on Turrialba volcano, Costa Rica. Over 6000 LPs were extracted using a modified STA/LTA method and a family consisting of 435 similar LP events has been identified. For the first time at Turrialba volcano, full-waveform moment tensor inversion is performed to jointly determine the location and source mechanism of the events. The LPs in the family are likely to be caused by crack mechanisms dipping towards the southwest at angles of approximately 10 to 20°, located at shallow depths (< 800 m) below the active Southwest and Central craters. As the locations are so shallow, the most probable causes of crack mechanisms are hydrothermal fluids resonating within or 'pulsing' through a crack. The waveforms observed at the summit stations suggest a 'pulsing' mechanism, but source resonance with a high degree of damping is also possible. 388Scopus© Citations 14
- PublicationTime reverse location of seismic long-period events recorded on Mt Etna(Oxford University Press, 2011-01)
; ; ; ; ; ;We present the first application of a time reverse location method in a volcanic setting, for a family of long-period events recorded on Mt Etna. Results are compared with locations determined using a full moment tensor grid search inversion and cross-correlation method. From June 18th to July 3rd, 2008, 50 broadband seismic stations were deployed on Mt Etna, Italy, in close proximity to the summit. Two families of long-period events were detected with dominant spectral peaks around 0.9 Hz. The large number of stations close to the summit allowed us to locate all events in both families using a time reversal location method. The method involves taking the seismic signal, reversing it in time, and using it as a seismic source in a numerical seismic wave simulator where the reversed signals propagate through the numerical model, interfere constructively and destructively, and focus on the original source location. The source location is the computational cell with the largest displacement magnitude at the time of maximum energy current density inside the grid. Before we located the two long-period families we first applied the method to two synthetic datasets and found a good fit between the time reverse location and true synthetic location for a known velocity model. The time reverse location results of the two families show a shallow seismic region close to the summit in agreement with the locations using a moment tensor full waveform inversion method and a cross-correlation location method. 361Scopus© Citations 40
- PublicationAn irregular lattice method for elastic wave propagation(Oxford University Press, 2011-10)
;Lattice methods are a class of numerical scheme which represent a medium as a connection of interacting nodes or particles. In the case of modelling seismic wave propagation, the interaction term is determined from Hooke′s Law including a bond-bending term. This approach has been shown to model isotropic seismic wave propagation in an elastic or viscoelastic medium by selecting the appropriate underlying lattice structure. To predetermine the material constants, this methodology has been restricted to regular grids, hexagonal or square in 2-D or cubic in 3-D. Here, we present a method for isotropic elastic wave propagation where we can remove this lattice restriction. The methodology is outlined and a relationship between the elastic material properties and an irregular lattice geometry are derived. The numerical method is compared with an analytical solution for wave propagation in an infinite homogeneous body along with comparing the method with a numerical solution for a layered elastic medium. The dispersion properties of this method are derived from a plane wave analysis showing the scheme is more dispersive than a regular lattice method. Therefore, the computational costs of using an irregular lattice are higher. However, by removing the regular lattice structure the anisotropic nature of fracture propagation in such methods can be removed. 244Scopus© Citations 15
- PublicationTremor-rich shallow dyke formation followed by silent magma flow at Bárðarbunga in Iceland(Nature, 2017-04)
; ; ; ; ; ; ;The Bárðarbunga eruption in Iceland in 2014 and 2015 produced about 1.6 km3 of lava. Magma propagated away from Bárðarbunga to a distance of 48 km in the subsurface beneath Vatnajökull glacier, emerging a few kilometres beyond the glacier's northern rim. A puzzling observation is the lack of shallow (<3 km deep), high-frequency earthquakes associated Q.1 with shallow dyke formation near the subaerial and subglacial eruptive sites, suggesting that near-surface dyke formation is seismically quiet. However, seismic array observations and seismic full wavefield simulations reveal the presence and nature of shallow, pre-eruptive, long-duration seismic tremor activity. Here we use analyses of seismic data to constrain therelationships between seismicity, tremor, dyke propagation and magma flow during the Bárðarbunga eruption. We show that although tremor is usually associated with magma flow in volcanic settings, pre-eruptive tremor at Bárðarbunga was probably caused by swarms of microseismic events during dyke formation, and hence is directly associated with fracturing of the upper 2-3 km of the crust. Subsequent magma flow in the newly formed shallow dyke was seismically silent, with almost a complete absence of seismicity or tremor. Hence, we suggest that the transition from temporarily isolated, large, deep earthquakes to many smaller, shallower, temporally overlapping earthquakes (< magnitude 2) that appear as continuous tremor announces the arrival of a dyke opening in the shallow crust, forming a pathway for silent magma flow to the Earth's surface. 532Scopus© Citations 33
- PublicationModelling fluid induced seismicity on a nearby active fault(Oxford University Press, 2013-09)
; ; ; ;We present a numerical investigation of the effect that static stress perturbations due to fluid injection have on a nearby active fault where the fluid does not come in physical contact with the fault. Our modelling employs a lattice Boltzmann pore diffusion model coupled with a quasi-dynamic earthquake rupture model. As diffusivities and frictional parameters can be defined independently at individual nodes/cells this allows us to replicate complex 3-D geological media in our simulations. We demonstrate the effect an injection can have on an active nearby fault. Compared with our control catalogue (identical to the original simulation but without the injection), the injection not only altered the timing of the next earthquake sequence, it also changed its size, producing a Mw 6.7 event, the largest observed earthquake on the fault. This large event pushes the fault into a subcritical state from which it took roughly 200 yr of continuous tectonic loading for the fault to return to a critical state. 359Scopus© Citations 20
- PublicationAn Outlook on Seismic Diffraction Imaging Using Pattern Recognition(EAGE Publications BV, 2018-06-11)
; ; ; ;A seismic image is formed by interactions of the seismic wavefield with geological interfaces, in the form of reflections, diffractions, and other coherent noise. While in conventional processing workflows reflections are favoured over diffractions, this is only beneficial in areas with uniform stratigraphy. Diffractions form as interactions of the wavefield with discontinuities and therefore can be used to image them. However, to image diffractions, they must first be separated from the seismic wavefield. Here we propose a pattern recognition approach for separation, employing image segmentation. We then compare this to two existing diffraction imaging methods, plane-wave destruction and f-k filtering. Image segmentation can be used to divide the image into pixels which share certain criteria. Here, we have separated the image first by amplitude using a histogram-based segmentation method, followed by edge detection with a Sobel operator to locate the hyperbola. The image segmentation method successfully locates diffraction hyperbola which can then be separated and migrated for diffraction imaging. When compared with plane-wave destruction and f-k filtering, the image segmentation method proves beneficial as it allows for identification of the hyperbolae without noise. However, the method can fail to identify hyperbolae in noisier environments and when hyperbolae overlap. 257Scopus© Citations 6