Deformation of the Long Valley Caldera, California: Inferences from measurements from 1988 to 2001

Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research



Two periods of volcanic unrest occurred between 1989 and 1998 in the Long Valley Caldera, eastern California. Numerous earthquakes were recorded, and these periods of unrest were documented with high-precision geodetic measurements. The first round of unrest started rapidly in late 1989 and slowly decreased in rate through the early 1990s. For this interval there are both leveling and two-color electronic distance meter (EDM) measurements. The second round of unrest started slowly in mid-1997, climaxed in late 1997, and rapidly returned to quiescence by mid-1998. Deformation was recorded by both the two-color EDM and continuous GPS. Both episodes require inflation at 6-7 km beneath the resurgent dome, and both episodes had roughly 0.1 m extension across the resurgent dome. In addition, the data presented here suggest that there is a deeper, 10-20 km, inflation source beneath the south moat of the caldera. For both episodes, the better-resolved inflation beneath the resurgent dome is a near-vertical, prolate spheroid rather than an isotropic source, which suggests that magma came up through vertical cracks. However, the modeling suggests that the location changed with the depth from 6.0 to 6.7 km for the later episode. In contrast to the earlier episode, the 1997-1998 episode has additional deformation in the south moat, where the simplest model is that of a right-lateral slip on a steeply dipping plane that is defined by the location of earthquakes in the south moat. Models of the time-dependent behavior suggest that slip on this fault occurred from late November through December 1997, corresponding to the time of greatest moment release by the earthquake swarm in the south moat. Confounding the interpretation of these data is an active geothermal field near the center of the EDM network and adjacent to the south moat and resurgent dome. Additional modeling of leveling and EDM data within the geothermal field during a period of low rate of inflation of the dome suggests some methods of adjustments to the EDM data during the inflation episodes. ?? 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Deformation of the Long Valley Caldera, California: Inferences from measurements from 1988 to 2001
Series title Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
DOI 10.1016/S0377-0273(03)00172-0
Volume 127
Issue 3-4
Year Published 2003
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
First page 247
Last page 267
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