Long Valley Caldera and the Mono-Inyo Domes volcanic field in eastern California lie in a left-stepping offset along the eastern escarpment of the Sierra Nevada, at the northern end of the Owens Valley and the western margin of the Basin and Range Province. Over the last 4 Ma, this volcanic field has produced multiple volcanic eruptions, including the caldera-forming eruption at 760 000 a BP and the recent Mono-Inyo Domes eruptions 50-660 a BP and 250 a BP. Beginning in the late 1970s, the caldera entered a sustained period of unrest that persisted through the end of the century without culminating in an eruption. The unrest has included recurring earthquake swarms; tumescence of the resurgent dome by nearly 80 cm; the onset of diffuse magmatic carbon dioxide emissions around the flanks of Mammoth Mountain on the southwest margin of the caldera; and other indicators of magma transport at mid- to upper-crustal depths. Although we have made substantial progress in understanding the processes driving this unrest, many key questions remain, including the distribution, size, and relation between magma bodies within the mid-to-upper crust beneath the caldera, Mammoth Mountain, and the Inyo Mono volcanic chain, and how these magma bodies are connected to the roots of the magmatic system in the lower crust or upper mantle. ?? The Geological Society of London.
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Unrest in Long Valley Caldera, California, 1978-2004