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Seismicity near Mayotte explained by interacting magma bodies: Insights from numerical modeling

  • de Sagazan, Clément
  • Retailleau, Lise
  • Gerbault, Muriel
  • Peltier, Aline
  • Feuillet, Nathalie
  • Fontaine, Fabrice J.
  • Crawford, Wayne C.
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2024
DOI: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2023.107985
OAI: oai:HAL:insu-04462198v1
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Mayotte island experienced a large volcanic eruption 50 km offshore in 2018-2021, creating the submarine volcano "Fani Maoré". The eruption was accompanied by intense seismicity at mantle depths (20-45 km), divided into a "proximal" and a "distal" cluster centered 10 and 30 km east from the island, respectively. Previous studies suggest that two separate magma reservoirs may lie at the top and bottom of the proximal cluster. Here, we assess whether two reservoirs are a mechanically viable explanation for the proximal cluster's truncated conical shape. We developed finite-element models of pressurized magma reservoirs in a 2D axisymmetric domain, modeling the reservoirs as compliant elastic ellipsoids embedded in an elastoplastic host rock. We find that, at these depths, extremely low friction is required to generate failure at realistically low reservoir pressures. This implies in turn that mechanical weakening must occur at these depths. The weakening could be induced by fractures or pore fluid overpressure in the volcanic system. We find that two superimposed reservoirs can generate a plastic domain between them, if they are spatially close enough. Several reservoir geometries (from spherical to sill-like) are plausible. A conical fracture domain is more likely to appear for reservoirs with opposite pressure loads (i.e. one inflating, one deflating). Given the geometrical match with the proximal seismicity cluster at Mayotte, we suggest that the shallower (Moho-depth) reservoir is inflating, creating a potential hazard for Mayotte island.

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