Caldera resurgence during the 2018 eruption of Sierra Negra volcano, Galápagos Islands

Andrew Bell, Peter C. LaFemina, Mario Ruiz, Falk Amelung, Marco Bagnardi, Christopher J. Bean, Benjamin Bernard, Cynthia Ebinger, Matthew Gleeson, James Grannell, Stephen Hernandez, Machel Higgins, Céline Liorzou, Paul Lundgren, Nathan J. Meier, Martin Martin Möllhoff, Sarah-Jaye Oliva, Andres Gorki Ruiz, Michael J. Stock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent large basaltic eruptions began after only minor surface uplift and seismicity, and resulted in caldera subsidence. In contrast, some eruptions at Galápagos Island volcanoes are preceded by prolonged, large amplitude uplift and elevated seismicity. These systems also display long-term intra-caldera uplift, or resurgence. However, a scarcity of observations has obscured the mechanisms underpinning such behaviour. Here we combine a unique multiparametric dataset to show how the 2018 eruption of Sierra Negra contributed to caldera resurgence. Magma supply to a shallow reservoir drove 6.5 m of pre-eruptive uplift and seismicity over thirteen years, including an Mw5.4 earthquake that triggered the eruption. Although co-eruptive magma withdrawal resulted in 8.5 m of subsidence, net uplift of the inner-caldera on a trapdoor fault resulted in 1.5 m of permanent resurgence. These observations reveal the importance of intra-caldera faulting in affecting resurgence, and the mechanisms of eruption in the absence of well-developed rift systems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1397
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2021

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