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Elastic Propagation in random media: applications to the imaging of volcano structures

By Anna Tramelli

Abstract

High-frequency seismograms contain features that reflect the random inhomogeneities of the earth. In this work I use an imaging method to locate the high contrast small- scale heterogeneity respect to the background earth medium. This method was first introduced by Nishigami (1991) and than applied to different volcanic and tectonically active areas (Nishigami, 1997, Nishigami, 2000, Nishigami, 2006). The scattering imaging method is applied to two volcanic areas: Campi Flegrei and Mt. Vesuvius. Volcanic and seismological active areas are often characterized by complex velocity structures, due to the presence of rocks with different elastic properties. I introduce some modifications to the original method in order to make it suitable for small and highly complex media. In particular, for very complex media the single scattering approximation assumed by Nishigami (1991) is not applicable as the mean free path becomes short. The multiple scattering or diffusive approximation become closer to the reality. In this thesis, differently from the ordinary Nishigami’s method (Nishigami, 1991), I use the mean of the recorded coda envelope as reference curve and calculate the variations from this average envelope. In this way I implicitly do not assume any particular scattering regime for the "average" scattered radiation, whereas I consider the variations as due to waves that are singularly scattered from the strongest heterogeneities. The imaging method is applied to a relatively small area (20 x 20 km), this choice being justified by the small length of the analyzed codas of the low magnitude earthquakes. I apply the unmodified Nishigami’s method to the volcanic area of Campi Flegrei and compare the results with the other tomographies done in the same area. The scattering images, obtained with frequency waves around 18 Hz, show the presence of high scatterers in correspondence with the submerged caldera rim in the southern part of the Pozzuoli bay. Strong scattering is also found below the Solfatara crater, characterized by the presence of densely fractured, fluid-filled rocks and by a strong thermal anomaly. The modified Nishigami’s technique is applied to the Mt. Vesuvius area. Results show a low scattering area just below the central cone and a high scattering area around it. The high scattering zone seems to be due to the contrast between the high rigidity body located beneath the crater and the low rigidity materials located around it. The central low scattering area overlaps the hydrothermal reservoirs located below the central cone. An interpretation of the results in terms of geological properties of the medium is also supplied, aiming to find a correspondence of the scattering properties and the geological nature of the material. A complementary result reported in this thesis is that the strong heterogeneity of the volcanic medium create a phenomenon called "coda localization". It has been verified that the shape of the seismograms recorded from the stations located at the top of the volcanic edifice of Mt. Vesuvius is different from the shape of the seismograms recorded at the bottom. This behavior is justified by the consideration that the coda energy is not uniformly distributed within a region surrounding the source for great lapse time

Topics: FIS/06 Fisica per il sistema terra e il mezzo circumterrestre
Year: 2008
DOI identifier: 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/870.
OAI identifier: oai:amsdottorato.cib.unibo.it:870
Provided by: AMS Tesi di Dottorato

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