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Arabian Journal of Geosciences

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 529–541 | Cite as

Seismicity associated with active, new-born, and re-awakening basaltic volcanoes: case review and the possible scenarios for the Harraat volcanic provinces, Saudi Arabia

  • Vyacheslav M. ZobinEmail author
  • Abdullah M. Al-Amri
  • Mohammed Fnais
Original Paper

Abstract

During April–June 2009, a swarm of more than 30,000 earthquakes struck the Harrat Lunayyir, situated in the north-western end of the Saudi Arabian Harraat, east of the Red Sea. This sharp increase in the seismic activity in the region of ancient basaltic volcanic centers indicated a likelihood of a future eruption. To check the situation, a short review of the best-documented seismic activity associated with active, new-born, and re-awakening basaltic volcanoes is presented in this article. Basing on the review, some regularity in the development of seismic activity associated with basaltic eruptions was formulated. Three stages in the development of seismic activity were identified: preliminary, preceding, and continuous. The duration of preceding stage varies from a few hours for active and re-awakened volcanoes to some weeks for new-born volcanoes and may serve as a criterion for discriminations of different types of basaltic eruptions. The duration of the seismic activity during the 2009 episode at Harrat Lunayyir was longer than any activity preceding the basaltic eruptions of different types. Therefore, the most probable scenario is the arrest of sub-surface intrusion without any eruption in the region of Harrat Lunayyir. The next probable scenario would be the dike injections along the rift zones. The re-awakening of the old Harrat Lunayyir volcano or the birth of a new volcano at Harrat Lunayyir is less probable.

Keywords

Basaltic volcano Earthquake swarm Harrat Lunayyir Re-awakening volcano New-born volcano Saudi Arabia Volcanic earthquakes 

Notes

Acknowledgment

The comments of two anonymous reviewers helped improve the manuscript. Catalogs of volcanic earthquakes were provided by Domenico Patané (Etna volcano, Italy), Jennifer Nakata (Kilauea volcano, Hawaii), and Valeria Levina (New Tolbachik volcanoes, Academia Nauk volcano).

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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vyacheslav M. Zobin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Abdullah M. Al-Amri
    • 2
  • Mohammed Fnais
    • 2
  1. 1.Observatorio Vulcanológico de la Universidad de ColimaColimaMéxico
  2. 2.Department of GeologyKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia

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