Seismic tomography of compressional wave velocity and attenuation structure for Makushin Volcano, Alaska
- Journal Article
Located in the central portion of the Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone, Makushin Volcano is among the most active volcanoes in the United States and has been classified as a very high threat by the National Volcano Early Warning System based on its eruptive history and proximity to the City of Unalaska and international air routes. In 2015, five standalone seismic stations and three mini seismic arrays of 15 stations each were deployed on Unalaska Island to supplement the Alaska Volcano Observatory permanent seismic network. This temporary array was operational for one year. Taking advantage of the increased azimuthal coverage and the array's increased earthquake detection capability, we developed body-wave Vp and Vp/Vs seismic images of the velocity structure beneath the volcano. Our results show a complex structure with the upper 4 km of the crust. The shallow high-Vp features possibly delineate remnant magma pathways or conduits. Low-Vp regions are found east of the caldera at approximately 4–8 km depth. This is in agreement with previous seismic tomographic work and InSAR-based geodetic models, which had identified this region as a possible long-term source of magma. A three-dimensional compressional wave attenuation model complemented the velocity models. In general, we observe regions of corresponding low P-wave velocity and high attenuation east of the summit caldera between 5 and 7 km depth, supporting the presence of a melt-rich zone. The absolute Vp values (5.5–6.0 km/s) in this region are consistent with the presence of a magma body with a mafic signature. We suggest that a triggering mechanism that involves mafic injections into a more evolved shallow magma chamber is representative of the current magmatic system below the volcano, similarly to what petrological studies have inferred for past eruptions. Show more
Journal / seriesJournal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Pages / Article No.
SubjectMakushin Volcano; Body-wave travel-time tomography; P-wave attenuation tomography
Organisational unit02818 - Schweiz. Erdbebendienst (SED) / Swiss Seismological Service (SED)
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