Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Geology (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences


Gregory P Waite


We used the Green's functions from auto-correlations and cross-correlations of seismic ambient noise to monitor temporal velocity changes in the subsurface at Villarrica volcano in the Southern Andes of Chile. Campaigns were conducted from March to October 2010 and February to April 2011 with 8 broadband and 6 short-period stations, respectively. We prepared the data by removing the instrument response, normalizing with a root-mean-square method, whitening the spectra, and filtering from 1 to 10 Hz. This frequency band was chosen based on the relatively high background noise level in that range. Hour-long auto- and cross-correlations were computed and the Green's functions stacked by day and total time. To track the temporal velocity changes we stretched a 24 hour moving window of correlation functions from 90% to 110% of the original and cross correlated them with the total stack. All of the stations' auto-correlations detected what is interpreted as an increase in velocity in 2010, with an average increase of 0.13%. Cross-correlations from station V01, near the summit, to the other stations show comparable changes that are also interpreted as increases in velocity. We attribute this change to the closing of cracks in the subsurface due either to seasonal snow loading or regional tectonics. In addition to the common increase in velocity across the stations, there are excursions in velocity on the same order lasting several days. Amplitude decreases as the station's distance from the vent increases suggesting these excursions may be attributed to changes within the volcanic edifice. In at least two occurrences the amplitudes at stations V06 and V07, the stations farthest from the vent, are smaller. Similar short temporal excursions were seen in the auto-correlations from 2011, however, there was little to no increase in the overall velocity.