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Tree-ring 14C links seismic swarm to CO2 spike at Yellowstone, USA

Geology

By:
, , , ,
DOI: 10.1130/G31345.1

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Abstract

Mechanisms to explain swarms of shallow seismicity and inflation-deflation cycles at Yellowstone caldera (western United States) commonly invoke episodic escape of magma-derived brines or gases from the ductile zone, but no correlative changes in the surface efflux of magmatic constituents have ever been documented. Our analysis of individual growth rings in a tree core from the Mud Volcano thermal area within the caldera links a sharp ~25% drop in 14C to a local seismic swarm in 1978. The implied fivefold increase in CO2 emissions clearly associates swarm seismicity with upflow of magma-derived fluid and shows that pulses of magmatic CO2 can rapidly traverse the 5-kmthick brittle zone, even through Yellowstone's enormous hydrothermal reservoir. The 1978 event predates annual deformation surveys, but recognized connections between subsequent seismic swarms and changes in deformation suggest that CO2 might drive both processes. ?? 2010 Geological Society of America.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Tree-ring 14C links seismic swarm to CO2 spike at Yellowstone, USA
Series title:
Geology
DOI:
10.1130/G31345.1
Volume
38
Issue:
12
Year Published:
2010
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Geology
First page:
1075
Last page:
1078
Number of Pages:
4