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Okmok volcano, located on Umnak Island in the Aleutian chain, Alaska, is the most eruptive caldera system in North America in historic time. Its most recent eruption occurred in 1997. Synthetic aperture radar interferometry shows deflation of the caldera center of up to 140 cm during this time, preceded and followed by inflation of smaller magnitude. The main part of the observed deformation can be modeled using a pressure point source model. The inferred source is located between 2.5 and 5.0 km beneath the approximate center of the caldera and ???5 km from the eruptive vent. We interpret it as a central magma reservoir. The preeruptive period features inflation accompanied by shallow localized subsidence between the caldera center and the vent. We hypothesize that this is caused by hydrothermal activity or that magma moved away from the central chamber and toward the later vent. Since all historic eruptions at Okmok have originated from the same cone, this feature may be a precursor that indicates an upcoming eruption. The erupted magma volume is ???9 times the volume that can be accounted for by the observed preeruptive inflation. This indicates a much longer inflation interval than we were able to observe. The observation that reinflation started shortly after the eruption suggests that inflation spans the whole time interval between eruptions. Extrapolation of the average subsurface volume change rate is in good agreement with the long-term eruption frequency and eruption volumes of Okmok.
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Deformation associated with the 1997 eruption of Okmok volcano, Alaska