Eruption Dynamics at Mount St. Helens Imaged from Broadband Seismic Waveforms: Interaction of the Shallow Magmatic and Hydrother

Eruption Dynamics at Mount St. Helens Imaged from Broadband Seismic Waveforms: Interaction of the Shallow Magmatic and Hydrothermal Systems, Figure 1 Figure 1.

Dilatational first motions are clear at all of the broadband stations for a sample event from 31 July 2005, plotted as a circle in the crater. The focal sphere in the inset shows distribution of the first motion recordings for the broadband stations, with a dashed line in the middle outlining the region where there are no broadband stations.
The 2004-2008 eruption at Mount St. Helens was characterized by dome building and shallow, repetitive, long-period (LP) earthquakes. We analyzed the seismicity using a temporary array of 19 intermediate band PASSCAL seismometers deployed during the second half of 2005 from ~1 to 6 km from the active vent. Waveform cross-correlation of the LP events shows they were remarkable similarity for a majority of the earthquakes over periods of several weeks, indicating a repetitive source mechanism. Stacked spectra of these events display multiple peaks between 0.5 and 2 Hz that are common to most stations; this suggests the low-frequency waveforms are due to a source process, rather than path affects. When the first motions were discernible, they were dilatational on stations at all distances and azimuths. In addition to the LP events, lower-amplitude very-long-period (VLP) events commonly accompany the LP events. We modeled the source mechanisms of LP and VLP events in the 0.5 - 4 s and 8 - 40 s bands, respectively by full waveform inversion. The source mechanism of the LP events includes: 1) a volumetric component modeled as resonance of a gently NNW-dipping, steam-filled crack located directly beneath the actively-extruding part of the new dome and within 100 m of the crater floor and 2) a vertical single force attributed to movement of the overlying dome. The VLP source, which also includes volumetric and single-force components, is 250 m deeper and NNW of the LP source, at the SW edge of the 1980s lava dome. The volumetric component points to the compression and expansion of a shallow, magma-filled sill, which is subparallel to the hydrothermal crack imaged at the LP source, coupled with a smaller component of expansion and compression of a dike. The single-force components are due to changes in the velocity of magma moving through the conduit. The location, geometry and timing of the sources suggest the VLP and LP events are caused by perturbations of a common crack system.
</p><p>Waite, G. P., B. A. Chouet, and P. B. Dawson (2008), Eruption dynamics at Mount St. Helens imaged from broadband seismic waveforms: Interaction of the shallow magmatic and hydrothermal systems, J. Geophys. Res., 113(B2), B02305.
</p><p>Acknowledgements: Funding was provided primarily by the USGS Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellowship. The IRIS-PASSCAL Instrument Center provided instruments and support for the temporary network. Data collected are available through the IRIS Data Management Center. The facilities of the IRIS Consortium are supported by the National Science Foundation under Cooperative Agreement EAR- 0552316, the NSF Office of Polar Programs and the DOE National Nuclear Security Administration</p>


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