Analysing stress field conditions of the Colima Volcanic Complex (Mexico) by integrating finite-element modelling (FEM) simulations and geological data

Massaro, Silvia; Sulpizio, Roberto; Norini, Gianluca; Groppelli, Gianluca; Costa, Antonio; Capra, Lucia; Lo Zupone, Giacomo; Porfido, Michele; Gabrieli, Andrea

In recent decades, finite-element modelling (FEM) has become a very popular tool in volcanological studies and has even been used to describe complex system geometries by accounting for multiple reservoirs, topography, and heterogeneous distribution of host rock mechanical properties. In spite of this, the influence of geological information on numerical simulations is still poorly considered. In this work, 2D FEM of the Colima Volcanic Complex (Mexico) is provided by using the Linear Static Analysis (LISA) software in order to investigate the stress field conditions with increasingly detailed geological data. By integrating the published geophysical, volcanological, and petrological data, we modelled the stress field considering either one or two magma chambers connected to the surface via dykes or isolated (not connected) in the elastic host rocks (considered homogeneous and non-homogeneous). We also introduced tectonic disturbance, considering the effects of direct faults bordering the Colima Rift and imposing an extensional far-field stress of 5 MPa. We ran the model using the gravity in calculations. Our results suggest that an appropriate set of geological data is of pivotal importance for obtaining reliable numerical outputs, which can be considered a proxy for natural systems. Beside and beyond the importance of geological data in FEM simulations, the model runs using the complex feeding system geometry and tectonics show how the present-day Colima volcanic system can be considered in equilibrium from a stress state point of view, in agreement with the long-lasting open conduit dynamics that have lasted since 1913.

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Massaro, Silvia / Sulpizio, Roberto / Norini, Gianluca / et al: Analysing stress field conditions of the Colima Volcanic Complex (Mexico) by integrating finite-element modelling (FEM) simulations and geological data. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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