Long-term muon measurements to track density changes at La Soufrière de Guadeloupe volcano - Université des Antilles Access content directly
Conference Poster Year : 2019

Long-term muon measurements to track density changes at La Soufrière de Guadeloupe volcano


Volcanoes in the Caribbean often host extremely developed hydrothermal systems. These result from the interaction of large amount of water, infiltered in the system thanks to strong precipitation regimes, with the magmatic gases and liquids rising from the magmatic chamber. Volcanic hydrothermal systems give rise to unpredictable hazards such as hydrothermal explosions, partial edifice collapse, mudflows and sudden emission of toxic gases. Characterizing the dynamics of these systems is thus critical for developing efficient risk assessment. At La Soufriere de Guadeloupe volcano, a pioneer network of muon telescopes has been installed to assess the potential of this technology to monitor the volcano's dynamic hydrothermal system. Muon imaging has emerged as a powerful method to complement standard geophysical methods in volcanology. Muon measurements yield a radiography of the average density along the muon path, allowing to image large volumes of a geological body from a single observation point. When multiple muon detectors surrounding the volcano are available, it is possible to invert these data to retrieve the 3-D density distribution in the volcano. Long-term measurements of the muon flux allow to infer density changes in the system. In the context of volcanic hydrothermal systems, this approach helps to characterize zones of steam formation, condensation, water infiltration and storage. Here we present the use of continuous muon measurements at La Soufrière de Guadeloupe volcano as a novel methodology to characterize the spatio-temporal dynamics of its hydrothermal system. In this work a set of more than 1.5 years of continuous measurements simultaneously acquired with two muon detectors is analyzed. The two telescopes scan two different zones of the dome with large overlapping volumes. The changes observed are consistent among the two detectors, thus pointing to a common source of density changes inside the volcano. The method is thus a reliable tool to monitor shallow activity in the volcano and may be used in other "wet volcanoes" in combination with standard monitoring methods to quantification internal processes of mass and heat transfer in the system  


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Dates and versions

hal-02894438 , version 1 (08-07-2020)


  • HAL Id : hal-02894438 , version 1


Marina Rosas-Carbajal, Jacques Marteau, Bruno Carlus, Jean-Christophe Ianigro, J.-L Montorio, et al.. Long-term muon measurements to track density changes at La Soufrière de Guadeloupe volcano. Caribbean Science and Innovation Meeting 2019, Oct 2019, Pointe à Pitre (Guadeloupe), France. ⟨hal-02894438⟩
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