Hydrologic and geochemical monitoring in Long Valley Caldera, Mono County, California, 1982-1984

Water-Resources Investigations Report 85-4183

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The Long Valley caldera is a potentially active volcanic area on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada in east-central California. Hydrologic and geochemical monitoring of surface and subsurface features began in July 1982 to determine if changes were occurring in response to processes causing earthquakes and crustal deformation. Differences since 1982 in fluid chemistry of springs has been minor except at Casa Diablo, where rapid fluctuations in chemistry result from near surface boiling and mixing. Ratios of 3-He/4-He and 13-C/12-C in hot springs and fumaroles are consistent with a magnetic source for some of the carbon and helium discharged in thermal areas, and observed changes in 3-He/4-He between 1978 and 1984 suggest changes in the magmatic component. Significant fluctuations in hot spring discharge recorded at several sites since 1982 closely followed earthquake activity. Water levels in wells have been used as strain meters to detect rock deformation associated with magmatic and tectonic activity and to construct a water table contour map. Coseismic water level fluctuations of as much as 0.6 ft have been observed but no clear evidence of deformation caused by magmatic intrusions can be seen in the well records through 1984. Temperature profiles in wells, which can be used to delineate regionally continuous zones of lateral flow of hot water across parts of the caldera, have remained constant at all but two sites. (Author 's abstract)

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Hydrologic and geochemical monitoring in Long Valley Caldera, Mono County, California, 1982-1984
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Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
ix, 137 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.