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Tree-ring (super 14) C links seismic swarm to CO (sub 2) spike at Yellowstone, USA

William C. Evans, Deborah Bergfeld, John P. McGeehin, John C. King and Henry Heasler
Tree-ring (super 14) C links seismic swarm to CO (sub 2) spike at Yellowstone, USA
Geology (Boulder) (December 2010) 38 (12): 1075-1078


Mechanisms to explain swarms of shallow seismicity and inflation-deflation cycles at Yellowstone caldera (western United States) commonly invoke episodic escape of magma-derived brines or gases from the ductile zone, but no correlative changes in the surface efflux of magmatic constituents have ever been documented. Our analysis of individual growth rings in a tree core from the Mud Volcano thermal area within the caldera links a sharp approximately 25% drop in (super 14) C to a local seismic swarm in 1978. The implied fivefold increase in CO (sub 2) emissions clearly associates swarm seismicity with upflow of magma-derived fluid and shows that pulses of magmatic CO (sub 2) can rapidly traverse the 5-km-thick brittle zone, even through Yellowstone's enormous hydrothermal reservoir. The 1978 event predates annual deformation surveys, but recognized connections between subsequent seismic swarms and changes in deformation suggest that CO (sub 2) might drive both processes.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 38
Serial Issue: 12
Title: Tree-ring (super 14) C links seismic swarm to CO (sub 2) spike at Yellowstone, USA
Affiliation: U. S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA, United States
Pages: 1075-1078
Published: 201012
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 30
Accession Number: 2011-007979
Categories: Quaternary geologySeismologyGeochronology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: With GSA Data Repository Item 2010296
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sketch map
N44°34'60" - N44°37'60", W110°27'00" - W110°25'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Lone Pine Research, USA, United StatesU. S. National Park Service, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201105
Program Name: USGSOPNon-USGS publications with USGS authors
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