Skip to main content

Seismic Anisotropy in Volcanic Regions

  • Living reference work entry
  • First Online:
Encyclopedia of Earthquake Engineering


Seismic anisotropy/shear wave splitting at (active) volcanoes; Shear wave splitting in volcanic regions; Using seismic anisotropy/shear wave splitting to monitor (active) volcanoes; Using seismic anisotropy/shear wave splitting to track/monitor/detect volcanic/magmatic activity


Modern geophysical techniques enable changes to be observed at some volcanoes before magmatic eruptions: detection of seismicity (see “Seismic Monitoring of Volcanoes”) from magma pushing through cold country rock is one of the most common and successful monitoring techniques and can lead to short-term forecasting (see “Volcanic Eruptions, Real-Time Forecasting of”). Another example of geophysical precursors to eruptions is surface deformation from inflation or deflation of a volcano due to magma movement. However, some volcanoes do not display these clues, and there remains a need for techniques that are sensitive to other physical attributes that might change in conjunction with the...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Institutional subscriptions


  • Abt DL, Fischer KM (2008) Resolving three-dimensional anisotropic structure with shear wave splitting tomography. Geophys J Int 173(3):859–886. doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2008.03757.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Audoine E, Savage MK, Gledhill K (2004) Anisotropic structure under a back arc spreading region, the Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand. J Geophys Res 109(B11):305. doi:10.1029/2003JB002932

    Google Scholar 

  • Babuška V, Cara M (1991) Seismic anisotropy in the Earth, vol 10. Klewer Academic, Dordrecht

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Bianco F, Zaccarelli L (2009) A reappraisal of shear wave splitting parameters from Italian active volcanic areas through a semiautomatic algorithm. J Seismol 13(2):253–266. doi:10.1007/s10950-008-9125-z

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Crampin S, Gao Y (2006) A review of techniques for measuring shear-wave splitting above small earthquakes. Phys Earth Planet In 159(1–2):1–14. doi:10.1016/j.pepi.2006.06.002

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Crampin S, Peacock S (2008) A review of the current understanding of seismic shear-wave splitting in the Earth’s crust and common fallacies in interpretation. Wave Motion 45(6):675–722. doi:10.1016/j.wavemoti.2008.01.003

    Article  MATH  MathSciNet  Google Scholar 

  • Crampin S, Volti T, Chastin S, Gudmundsson A, Stefansson R (2002) Indication of high pore-fluid pressures in a seismically-active fault zone. Geophys J Int 151(2):F1–F5. doi:10.1046/j.1365-246X.2002.01830.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Del Pezzo E, Bianco F, Petrosino S, Saccorotti G (2004) Changes in the coda decay rate and shear-wave splitting parameters associated with seismic swarms at Mt. Vesuvius, Italy. Bull Seismol Soc Am 94(2):439–452. doi:10.1785/0120030141

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gerst A, Savage MK (2004) Seismic anisotropy beneath Ruapehu Volcano: a possible eruption forecasting tool. Science 306(5701):1543–1547. doi:10.1126/science.1103445

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hess HH (1964) Seismic anisotropy of the uppermost mantle under oceans. Nature 203(494):629. doi:10.1038/203629a0

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Johnson JH, Poland MP (2013) Seismic detection of increased degassing before Kīlauea’s 2008 summit explosion. Nat Commun 4:1668. doi:10.1038/ncomms2703

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Johnson JH, Savage MK (2012) Tracking volcanic and geothermal activity in the Tongariro Volcanic Centre, New Zealand, with shear wave splitting tomography. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 223–224:1–10. doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2012.01.017

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Johnson JH, Prejean S, Savage MK, Townend J (2010) Anisotropy, repeating earthquakes, and seismicity associated with the 2008 eruption of Okmok volcano, Alaska. J Geophys Res 115, B00B04, doi:10.1029/2009JB006991. (Figure 1)

    Google Scholar 

  • Johnson JH, Savage MK, Townend J (2011) Distinguishing between stress-controlled and structural shear wave anisotropy at Mount Ruapehu volcano, New Zealand. J Geophys Res-Sol Ea 116:B12. doi:10.1029/2011JB008308

    Google Scholar 

  • Keats BS, Johnson JH, Savage MK (2011) The Erua earthquake cluster and seismic anisotropy in the Ruapehu region, New Zealand. Geophys Res Lett 38(L16):315. doi:10.1029/2011GL049014

    Google Scholar 

  • Miller V, Savage M (2001) Changes in seismic anisotropy after volcanic eruptions: evidence from Mount Ruapehu. Science 293(5538):2231–2233. doi:10.1126/science.1063463

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Roman DC, Cashman KV (2006) The origin of volcano-tectonic earthquake swarms. Geology 34(6):457. doi:10.1130/G22269.1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Roman DC, Gardine MD (2013) Seismological evidence for long-term and rapidly accelerating magma pressurization preceding the 2009 eruption of Redoubt Volcano, Alaska. Earth Planet Sci Lett 371–372:226–234. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2013.03.040

    Google Scholar 

  • Savage MK (1999) Seismic anisotropy and mantle deformation: what have we learned from shear wave splitting? Rev Geophys 37(1):65–106. doi:10.1029/98RG02075

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Savage MK, Ohminato T, Aoki Y, Tsuji H, Greve SM (2010) Stress magnitude and its temporal variation at Mt. Asama Volcano, Japan, from seismic anisotropy and GPS. Earth Planet Sci Lett 290(3–4):403–414. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2009.12.037

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Silver PG, Savage MK (1994) The interpretation of shear-wave splitting parameters in the presence of two anisotropic layers. Geophys J Int 119(3):949–963. doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.1994.tb04027.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Unglert K, Savage MK, Fournier N, Ohkura T, Abe Y (2011) Shear wave splitting, vP/vS, and GPS during a time of enhanced activity at Aso caldera, Kyushu. J Geophys Res-Sol Ea 116(B11):203. doi:10.1029/2011JB008520

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Vargas-Bracamontes D, Neuberg J (2012) Interaction between regional and magma-induced stresses and their impact on volcano-tectonic seismicity. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 243–244:91–96. doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2012.06.025

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wuestefeld A, Verdon JP, Kendall J-M, Rutledge J, Clarke H, Wookey J (2012) Inferring rock fracture evolution during reservoir stimulation from seismic anisotropy. Geophysics 76(6):WC157–WC166. doi:10.1190/GEO2011-0057.1

    Google Scholar 

  • Zinke JC, Zoback MD (2000) Structure-related and stress-induced shear-wave velocity anisotropy: observations from microearthquakes near the Calaveras Fault in central California. Bull Seismol Soc Am 90(5):1305–1312. doi:10.1785/0119990099

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jessica H. Johnson .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

About this entry

Cite this entry

Johnson, J.H. (2013). Seismic Anisotropy in Volcanic Regions. In: Beer, M., Kougioumtzoglou, I., Patelli, E., Au, IK. (eds) Encyclopedia of Earthquake Engineering. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-642-36197-5

  • eBook Packages: Springer Reference EngineeringReference Module Computer Science and Engineering

Publish with us

Policies and ethics