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Mass addition at Mount St. Helens, Washington, inferred from repeated gravity surveys

February 1, 2018

Measurements of subtle changes in the Earth’s gravityfield can provideinformation on the addition/loss of mass (e.g., magma or aqueousfluids) beneath a volcano. In this study, wemeasured gravity at Mount St. Helens from 2010 to 2016 to investigate possible mass changes followingthe 2004–2008 dome-forming eruption. The raw gravity measurements were corrected for changes in themass and shape of Crater Glacier and for deformation of the volcanic edifice to obtain residual gravity values.We found positive residual gravity changes that we interpret as evidence for partial recharge of the magmareservoir that fed the 2004–2008 eruption and/or for accumulation of groundwater in one or more shallowaquifers. Most of the gravity signal can be explained by groundwater accumulation; magma recharge is notrequired. However, there is additional evidence for at least partial recharge from seismic, deformation, andgeochemical observations

Citation Information

Publication Year 2018
Title Mass addition at Mount St. Helens, Washington, inferred from repeated gravity surveys
DOI 10.1002/2017JB014990
Authors Maurizio Battaglia, Michael Lisowski, Daniel Dzurisin, Michael P. Poland, Steve Schilling, Angela K. Diefenbach, Jeff Wynn
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth
Series Number
Index ID 70203513
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Volcano Science Center