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A.I. Qamar

Geophysical, geological, and seismicity data are combined to develop a transpressional strain model for the southern Washington Cascades region. We use this model to explain oblique fold and fault systems, transverse faults, and a linear seismic zone just west of Mt. Rainier known as the western Rainier zone. We also attempt to explain a concentration of earthquakes that connects the northwest-trending Mount St. Helens seismic zone to the north-trending western Rainier zone. Our tectonic model illustrates the pervasive effects of accretionary processes, combined with subsequent transpressive forces generated by oblique subduction, on Eocene to present crustal processes, such as seismicity and volcanism.
The 2004-05 eruption of Mount St Helens exhibited sustained, near-equilibrium behaviour characterized by relatively steady extrusion of a solid dacite plug and nearly periodic shallow earthquakes. Here we present a diverse data set to support our hypothesis that these earthquakes resulted from stick-slip motion along the margins of the plug as it was forced incrementally upwards by ascending, solidifying, gas-poor magma. We formalize this hypothesis with a dynamical model that reveals a strong analogy between behaviour of the magma-plug system and that of a variably damped oscillator. Modelled stick-slip oscillations have properties that help constrain the balance of forces governing the earthquakes and eruption,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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