Potential effects of volcanic activity on level and quality of associated groundwater

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Rose, J.L.; Zemansky, G.M. 2013 Potential effects of volcanic activity on level and quality of associated groundwater. Lower Hutt, N.Z.: GNS Science. GNS Science report 2013/46 18 p. + 1 CD

Abstract: Groundwater level and quality changes preceding eruptive volcanic activity could potentially have predictive value if closely monitored. Groundwater levels have been reported in the scientific literature to change (both rise and fall) in conjunction with volcanic activity in Japan and in the Philippines. There are also reports of changes in the quality of groundwater in wells, springs, and crater lakes in a number of other places in the world in association with volcanic activity as well as New Zealand. However, there is some inconsistency in the data with changes sometimes being documented while at other times either being in the opposite direction or not seen at all. These include increases in B, Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, and SiO2 of springs in advance of eruptive activity at Popocatepetl volcano in Mexico, an increase in SO42- concentrations for a thermal spring on the flank of Tacana volcano in Mexico prior to an eruption as well as variations in B, total Fe, and Mg2+. In New Zealand, these include increases prior to the 1995 eruption in levels of Al, Ca2+, Fe, Mg2+, Na, SO4, Cl, and conductivity, decreases in SO4 and Cl prior to the September 2007 eruption, and increases in spring-fed Silica Rapids concentrations of Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, HCO3-, Cl-, SO42-, and conductivity and decreases in Al, Fe, and temperature in association with the 1995 and 1996 Ruapehu eruptions and a decrease Al in association with the September 2007 Ruapehu eruption. The GNS Science GGW database contains a number of locations in proximity to volcanoes. These data and a statistical analysis output sheet are provided in an Appendix to this report. Both of the authors of this report have left employment at GNS Science before they could comprehensively evaluate these data. We recommend that such an evaluation occur as the next step in this programme. (auth)