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Oblique development of the ring faults reflecting the structural heterogeneities inside the volcano formed many asymmetric structures of Miyakejima 2000 AD caldera. The asymmetry includes (a) offset location of the ring faults with respect to the associated shallow magma chamber, (b) unequal outward migration of the caldera wall 600 m at the southeastern rim but only 200 m at the northwestern rim, (c) development of tilted terrace only at the southeastern caldera margin, (d) eruption sites and fumaroles being confined to the southern part of the caldera.Geophysical data, including ground deformation and seismic activity, indicates the offset of the location of the magma chamber about 2 km south of the caldera center on the surface. The ring faults propagated from the deflating magma chamber obliquely about 30 degrees toward the summit. The oblique subsidence of the cylindrical block formed a wider instable zone, particularly in the southeastern side of the ring fault that enhanced the larger outward migration of the caldera rim and also caused the formation of the outer half-ring fault bordering the tilting slope at the southern part. Ascending pass of the buoyant magma along the tilted ring faults was concentrated in the southern half of the caldera and consequently the distributions of the eruption sites and fumaroles are localized in the southern-half part of the caldera.The structure of the Miyakejima 2000 caldera with complete development of the ring faults, its high roof aspect ratio and oblique subsidence is clearly distinguishable from trapdoor-type caldera. The oblique development of the ring faults can be controlled by the mechanical contrast between the solidified conduits and surrounding fragile volcanic edifice. Asymmetric development of the Miyakejima caldera shows that the collapsed calderas are potential indicators of the heterogeneous structures inside of the volcano, particularly in the case of small-size caldera.
Journal: Earth and Planetary Science Letters - Volume 280, Issues 1–4, 15 April 2009, Pages 149–158