pure and applied geophysics

, Volume 125, Issue 6, pp 919–950 | Cite as

Seismic detection of underwater volcanism: The example of French Polynesia

  • Jacques Talandier
  • Emile A. Okal


We present a review of the principal methods used for the seismic detection and identification of active underwater volcanism, based on our experience in French Polynesia. In particular, we descrobe the 5-year activity in the Tahiti-Mehetia area, during which more than 32000 earthquakes were detected by the Polynesian network. We discuss the use of the following three types of seismic waves: conventional (mostly body waves), seismic tremor, andT waves propagated in the low-velocity acoustic channel of the ocean. For each of these waves, we discuss the principal characteristics of the signals, their spectral content, the type of information they provide on the activity of the volcano, and the various limitations faced by their use in detection or monitoring of underwater volcanic edifices. We present a review of the principal swarms monitored by the Polynesian network, and discuss their characterization as either volcanic or tectonic.

Key words

Volcanic seismicity tremor T waves Pacific Ocean basin 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacques Talandier
    • 1
  • Emile A. Okal
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire de GéophysiqueCommissariat à l'Energie AtomiqueTahitiFrench Polynesia
  2. 2.Department of Geological SciencesNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

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