First published: 24 May 2019 (JGR Solid Earth)
[May 24, 2019] New Paper! Drought-Triggered Inflation and Earthquakes at Long Valley Caldera
“In a new study we have explored how recent drought periods in California influence the timing of Long Valley active caldera inflation near the city of Mammoth, California. The study uses GPS and seismic data to show how uplift of the Sierra Nevada and magmatic inflation at Long Valley accelerated when the drought initiated in late 2011. The subsequent inflation changed the distribution of active tectonic strain rates in the adjacent central Walker Lane, east of the Sierra Nevada, effecting seismicity rates. Earthquakes occurred more frequently in places where the geodetic strain rates increased, suggesting that hydrological surface loading (e.g. from changing levels of aquifers, snow and lakes) affects the magmatic system in ways that subsequently influence earthquake occurrence. The study captures in new detail the complex links between climate, active volcanoes and earthquakes in eastern California and Nevada.
The work is a collaboration between the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology and Department of Mathematics and Statistics in the UNR College of Science. The study appears as a new accepted article in the Journal of Geophysical Research – Solid Earth.”