Articles | Volume 6, issue 6
16 Oct 2006
16 Oct 2006

On the singular values decoupling in the Singular Spectrum Analysis of volcanic tremor at Stromboli

R. Carniel, F. Barazza, M. Tárraga, and R. Ortiz

Abstract. The well known strombolian activity at Stromboli volcano is occasionally interrupted by rarer episodes of paroxysmal activity which can lead to considerable hazard for Stromboli inhabitants and tourists. On 5 April 2003 a powerful explosion, which can be compared in size with the latest one of 1930, covered with bombs a good part of the normally tourist-accessible summit area. This explosion was not forecasted, although the island was by then effectively monitored by a dense deployment of instruments. After having tackled in a previous paper the problem of highlighting the timescale of preparation of this event, we investigate here the possibility of highlighting precursors in the volcanic tremor continuously recorded by a short period summit seismic station. We show that a promising candidate is found by examining the degree of coupling between successive singular values that result from the Singular Spectrum Analysis of the raw seismic data. We suggest therefore that possible anomalies in the time evolution of this parameter could be indicators of volcano instability to be taken into account e.g. in a bayesian eruptive scenario evaluator. Obviously, further (and possibly forward) testing on other cases is needed to confirm the usefulness of this parameter.