Investigating volcanic hazard in Cape Verde Islands through geophysical monitoring: network description and first results
- 1Instituto Nacional de Meteorologia e Geofísica, Delegação de S. Vicente, Monte CP. 15, Mindelo, Cape Verde
- 2Physics Department, Instituto Superior Técnico, Av. Rovisco Pais, 1049-001 Lisbon, Portugal
Abstract. We describe a new geophysical network deployed in the Cape Verde Archipelago for the assessment and monitoring of volcanic hazards as well as the first results from the network. Across the archipelago, the ages of volcanic activity range from ca. 20 Ma to present. In general, older islands are in the east and younger ones are in the west, but there is no clear age progression of eruptive activity as widely separated islands have erupted contemporaneously on geological timescales. The overall magmatic rate is low, and there are indications that eruptive activity is episodic, with intervals between episodes of intense activity ranging from 1 to 4 Ma. Although only Fogo Island has experienced eruptions (mainly effusive) in the historic period (last 550 yr), Brava and Santo Antão have experienced numerous geologically recent eruptions, including violent explosive eruptions, and show felt seismic activity and geothermal activity. Evidence for recent volcanism in the other islands is more limited and the emphasis has therefore been on monitoring of the three critical islands of Fogo, Brava and Santo Antão, where volcanic hazard levels are highest. Geophysical monitoring of all three islands is now in operation. The first results show that on Fogo, the seismic activity is dominated by hydrothermal events and volcano-tectonic events that may be related to settling of the edifice after the 1995 eruption; in Brava by volcano-tectonic events (mostly offshore), and in Santo Antão by volcano-tectonic events, medium-frequency events and harmonic tremor. Both in Brava and in Santo Antão, the recorded seismicity indicates that relatively shallow magmatic systems are present and causing deformation of the edifices that may include episodes of dike intrusion.