Seismic evidence for a possible deep crustal hot zone beneath Southwest Washington

Scientific Reports
By:  and 



Crustal pathways connecting deep sources of melt and the active volcanoes they supply are poorly understood. Beneath Mounts St. Helens, Adams, and Rainier these pathways connect subduction-induced ascending melts to shallow magma reservoirs. Petrogenetic modeling predicts that when these melts are emplaced as a succession of sills into the lower crust they generate deep crustal hot zones. While these zones are increasingly recognized as a primary site for silicic differentiation at a range of volcanic settings globally, imaging them remains challenging. Near Mount Rainier, ascending melt has previously been imaged ~28 km northwest of the volcano, while to the south, the volcano lies on the margin of a broad conductive region in the deep crust. Using 3D full-waveform tomography, we reveal an expansive low-velocity zone, which we interpret as a possible hot zone, linking ascending melts and shallow reservoirs. This hot zone may supply evolved magmas to Mounts St. Helens and Adams, and possibly Rainier, and could contain approximately twice the melt volume as the total eruptive products of all three volcanoes combined. Hot zones like this may be the primary reservoirs for arc volcanism, influencing compositional variations and spatial-segmentation along the entire 1100 km-long Cascades Arc.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Seismic evidence for a possible deep crustal hot zone beneath Southwest Washington
Series title Scientific Reports
DOI 10.1038/s41598-017-07123-w
Volume 7
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Contributing office(s) Volcano Science Center
Description Article 7400; 10 p.
Country United States
State Washington
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details