Fault location by radon and mercury detection at an active volcano in Nicaragua

William B. Crenshaw, Stanley N. Williams, Richard E. Stoiber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Masaya Caldera Complex, NIC, with the active crater, Santiago (Fig. 1), is the site of present-day basaltic volcanism1,2. Some of the faults that bound the caldera and lie within it can be located geologically; others are postulated. A possible older caldera rim lies to the south of the present margin. To investigate whether one can identify faults in this environment of active volcanism, concentrations of radon and mercury in the regolith were determined at 232 selected points in and adjacent to the caldera. Higher concentrations of Hg0 or Rn or both occurred over 75% of the known structures studied. Some hitherto suspected structures were confirmed while others were not. Lack of a chemical signature may be ascribed to the absence of a structure, inappropriate sampling sites, post-fault lava cover or other sealing of the structure. We show here how the use of Rn and Hg0 determinations has helped in structural analysis at this active volcano.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-346
Number of pages2
JournalNature
Volume300
Issue number5890
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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