Geodetic and Structural Research in La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain: 1992–2007 Results
We review the results of the geodetic and structural studies carried out on La Palma Island using geodetic and geophysical data during the period 1992–2007. InSAR and GPS observation techniques were applied to study the existence of deformation on the island and gravity observations were carried out for structural studies. Gravity data were inverted using a nonlinear three-dimensional gravity inversion approach to obtain the geometry of the anomalous bodies constructed in a random growth process with respect to an exponentially stratified background. The main structural feature is a large central body (under the Caldera de Taburiente) with high density, which was interpreted as the Pliocene-age uplifted seamount and a relatively dense intrusive plutonic complex/magma body. The Cumbre Vieja series is characterized by elongated minima distributed according to the rift structure. InSAR results show a clear subsidence located on the Teneguía volcano, where the last eruption took place in 1971. A thermal source is the most probable origin for this deformation. A GPS network composed of 26 stations covering the total island surface was set up. Vertical displacements determined comparing the GPS coordinates obtained in 2007 with coordinates determined in 1994 are consistent with the InSAR results obtained in the southern part of the island. This is not the case for the northern part. From the comparison of 2006 and 2007 coordinates it is clear that more time is needed to obtain significant displacements, but observed trends are also consistent with InSAR results. All the observed significant displacements are in stations located outside of the large high-density central body.
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