Earthquake and volcano clustering via stress transfer at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

By: , and 



The proposed national high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain is close to Quaternary cinder cones and faults with Quaternary slip. Volcano eruption and earthquake frequencies are low, with indications of spatial and temporal clustering, making probabilistic assessments difficult. In an effort to identify the most likely intrusion sites, we based a three-dimensional finite-element model on the expectation that faulting and basalt intrusions are sensitive to the magnitude and orientation of the least principal stress in extensional terranes. We found that in the absence of fault slip, variation in overburden pressure caused a stress state that preferentially favored intrusions at Crater Flat. However, when we allowed central Yucca Mountain faults to slip in the model, we found that magmatic clustering was not favored at Crater Flat or in the central Yucca Mountain block. Instead, we calculated that the stress field was most encouraging to intrusions near fault terminations, consistent with the location of the most recent volcanism at Yucca Mountain, the Lathrop Wells cone. We found this linked fault and magmatic system to be mutually reinforcing in the model in that Lathrop Wells feeder dike inflation favored renewed fault slip. ?? 2006 Geological Society of America.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Earthquake and volcano clustering via stress transfer at Yucca Mountain, Nevada
Series title Geology
DOI 10.1130/G22636.1
Volume 34
Issue 9
Year Published 2006
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Geology
First page 785
Last page 788
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