A strategy to explore the topography-driven distortions in the tilt field induced by a spherical pressure source. The case of Mt. Etna

Fran├žois Beauducel and Daniele Carbone

Geophys. J. Int., 201(3), 1471-1481, doi: 10.1093/gji/ggv076, 2015.

Abstract. We present a strategy to thoroughly investigate the effects of prominent topography on the surface tilt due to a spherical pressure source. We use Etna's topography as a case of study and, for different source positions, we compare the tilt fields calculated through (a) a 3-D boundary element method and (b) analytical half-space solutions. We systematically determine (i) the source positions leading to the strongest tilt misfits when numerical and analytical results are compared and (ii) the surface areas where the strongest distortions in the tilt field are most likely to be observed. We also demonstrate that, under critical circumstances, in terms of respective positions of pressure source and observation points, results of inversion procedures aimed at retrieving the source parameters can be misleading, if tilt data are analyzed using models that do not account for topography.

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