Assessment of the relationship between earthquakes and volcanic activity

    Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Science by Research


    Understanding precursors to natural hazards is critical if we are to optimise emergency planning and reduce the impact of natural disasters when they strike. At present, the relationship between earthquakes and volcanoes provides vital clues for volcanic activity prediction and the identification of precursors. Despite this, there is currently no clear evidence supporting a mechanism of response. By extending the work of previous studies, this research makes a contribution to the field of volcanic hazard assessments by investigating the relationship between regional earthquakes and volcanic activity. Previously, it was difficult to measure the level and nature of volcanic activity given the inherent threat posed by volcanic hazards. As a result, there is an abundance of research that investigates the relationship using historic or observational records despite these methods presenting a number of limitations. For this reason, the advent of satellite remote sensing for volcanology has provided an opportunity to monitor long-term activity and quantify changes in a volcano’s character. Using data from the MODIS sensor (MOD14 and MODVOLC), the radiative power of a volcano was cross-checked with global seismic records to examine the thermal response of volcanoes to regional earthquakes. While preliminary results identified increases in radiative power up to 50 days after an earthquake, more detailed analyses between variables (earthquake magnitude, earthquake depth, change in radiative power, temporal delay and distance) found no statistically significant relationships. In contrast, spatial analyses corresponded with previous research which proposed mechanisms of response based on physical interactions. With this in mind, further work could examine individual earthquake-volcano interactions to identify a set of common factors which define the relationship, ultimately improving volcanic hazard assessment and response.
    Date of Award2012
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorMatthew Blackett (Supervisor) & Nigel Trodd (Supervisor)


    • Earthquakes
    • Remote Sensing
    • Volcanic Hazard Assessments
    • Volcanoes
    • Relationship

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