Abstract

The volcanological significance of seismicity within Katmai National Park has been debated since the first seismograph was installed in 1963, in part because Katmai seismicity consists almost entirely of high-frequency earthquakes that can be caused by a wide range of processes. I investigate this issue by determining 140 well-constrained first-motion fault-plane solutions for shallow (depth < 9 km) earthquakes occurring between 1995 and 2001 and inverting these solutions for the stress tensor in different regions within the park. Earthquakes removed by several kilometers from the volcanic axis occur in a stress field characterized by horizontally oriented σ1 and σ3 axes, with σ1 rotated slightly (12°) relative to the NUVEL1A subduction vector, indicating that these earthquakes are occurring in response to regional tectonic forces. On the other hand, stress tensors for earthquake clusters beneath several Katmai cluster volcanoes have vertically oriented σ1 axes, indicating that these events are occurring in response to local, not regional, processes. At Martin-Mageik, vertically oriented σ1 is most consistent with failure under edifice loading conditions in conjunction with localized pore pressure increases associated with hydrothermal circulation cells. At Trident-Novarupta, it is consistent with a number of possible models, including occurrence along fractures formed during the 1912 eruption that now serve as horizontal conduits for migrating fluids and/or volatiles from nearby degassing and cooling magma bodies. At Mount Katmai, it is most consistent with continued seismicity along ring-fracture systems created in the 1912 eruption, perhaps enhanced by circulating hydrothermal fluids and/or seepage from the caldera-filling lake.

You do not currently have access to this article.