Seismic velocity structure and earthquake relocation for the magmatic system beneath Long Valley Caldera, eastern California

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18 Scopus citations


A new three-dimensional (3-D) seismic velocity model and high-precision location catalog for earthquakes between 1984 and 2014 are presented for Long Valley Caldera and its adjacent fault zones in eastern California. The simul2000 tomography algorithm is applied to derive the 3-D Vp and Vp/Vs models using first-arrivals of 1004 composite earthquakes obtained from the original seismic data at the Northern California Earthquake Data Center. The resulting Vp model reflects geological structures and agrees with previous local tomographic studies. The simultaneously resolved Vp/Vs model is a major contribution of this study providing an important complement to the Vp model for the interpretation of structural heterogeneities and physical properties in the study area. The caldera is dominated by low Vp anomalies at shallow depths due to postcaldera fill. High Vp and low Vp/Vs values are resolved from the surface to ~3.4km depth beneath the center of the caldera, corresponding to the structural uplift of the Resurgent Dome. An aseismic body with low Vp and high Vp/Vs anomalies at 4.2-6.2km depth below the surface is consistent with the location of partial melt suggested by previous studies based on Vp models only and the inflation source locations based on geodetic modeling. The Sierran crystalline rocks outside the caldera are generally characterized with high Vp and low Vp/Vs values. The newly resolved velocity model improves absolute location accuracy for the seismicity in the study area and ultimately provides the basis for a high-precision earthquake catalog based on similar-event cluster analysis and waveform cross-correlation data. The fine-scale velocity structure and precise earthquake relocations are useful for investigating magma sources, seismicity and stress interaction and other seismological studies in Long Valley.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-30
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
StatePublished - Apr 5 2015


  • Crustal structure
  • Long Valley
  • Magma chamber

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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