Bulletin of Volcanology

, Volume 73, Issue 2, pp 123–132 | Cite as

Dike emplacement near Parícutin volcano, Mexico in 2006

  • Matt GardineEmail author
  • Michael E. West
  • Tiffany Cox
Research Article


A major seismic swarm occurred near Parícutin volcano between the end of May and early July 2006. More than 700 earthquakes with magnitude (M L ) exceeding 2.4 were located. Parícutin, located in the Michoacán–Guanajuato volcanic field in western Mexico, is well known as the site of the 1943 eruption in which a new 400 m cinder cone was constructed in what had been farmland. The 2006 swarm exhibits all of the characteristics typically associated with swarms of volcanic origins. The earthquake rate showed the typical ramp up and ramp down over the course of several days. Magnitudes were evenly distributed in time with a notably high b-value of 2.45. The earthquake locations cluster around a northeast-striking trend extending approximately 6 km. Over the first two weeks, hypocenters migrated steadily a few hundred meters per day, rising from 9 to 5 km depth and moving northeast about 5 km. On approximately June 7, the ascent of hypocenters stalled. For the next three weeks, hypocenters held their depth while migrating laterally back to the southwest. Focal mechanisms during the first part of the swarm reflected the increased stress caused by dike inflation. Following June 7, the stress orientation changed and became more consistent with the inflation of horizontal sill-like structures. Though only limited information is available from the seismic swarm preceding the 1943 eruption, several features, including the swarm duration and magnitude relationships, were comparable to those of the 2006 episode. The strong indicators of a magmatic origin to the 2006 swarm suggest that at this location there are few, if any, traditional seismic discriminants that could be used to distinguish which seismic swarms and dike emplacement events might culminate in eruption.


Parícutin Dike intrusion Relocations Stress tensor inversions Volcano-tectonic earthquakes 



Funding for the CODEX project was provided by National Science Foundation Grant EAR-0439882. Seismic stations were provided by IRIS / PASSCAL. We would like to thank Steve Grand at the University of Texas at Austin and Jim Ni at New Mexico State University for supplying the data from the MARS array. We also appreciate the efforts of the Colima Volcano Observatory and the RESCO seismic network, in particular the work of Tonatiuh Dominguez, for help with all aspects of the CODEX array, and Gabriel Reyes for insight into regional seismicity patterns. We would also like to thank H. Soosalu and an anonymous reviewer for their helpful comments and suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geophysical InstituteUniversity of Alaska FairbanksFairbanksUSA
  2. 2.Carleton CollegeNorthfieldUSA

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