Mammoth Mountain, a dormant volcano in the eastern Sierra Nevada, California, has been passively degassing large quantities of cold magmatic CO2 since 1990 following a 6-month-long earthquake swarm associated with a shallow magmatic intrussion in 1989. A search for any link between gas discharge and volcanic hazard at this popular recreation area led us to initiate a detailed study of the degassing process in 1997. Our continuous monitoring results elucidate some of the physical controls that influence dynamics in flank CO2 degassing at this volcano. High coherence between variations in CO2 efflux and variations in atmospheric pressure and wind speed imply that meteorological parameters account for much, if not all of the variability in CO2 efflux rates. Our results help explain differences among previously published estimates of CO2 efflux at Mammoth Mountain and indicate that the long-term (annual) CO2 degassing rate has in fact remained constant since ~ 1997. Discounting the possibility of large meteorologically driven temporal variations in gas efflux at other volcanoes may result in spurious interpretations of transients do not reflect actual geologic processes. ?? 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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Dynamics of carbon dioxide emission at Mammoth Mountain, California