Episodic inflation and complex surface deformation of Akutan volcano, Alaska...

DeGrandpre, K., T. Wang, Z. Lu, and J. Freymueller (2017), Episodic inflation and complex surface deformation of Akutan volcano, Alaska revealed from GPS time-series, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 347, 337-359, doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2017.10.003.

Akutan is one of the most active volcanoes in the Aleutian island arc. Studies involving seismic, GPS, and InSAR data have observed activity and deformation on the island since 1996. In this study we inverted measurements of volcanic deformation, observed using three components of motions at 12 continuous GPS sites to define magma source parameters using Mogi point source, Okada dislocation, and Yang spheroid and ellipsoid models. In order to analyze the evolution of this magma source we split the GPS data into five consecutive time periods, and one period that incorporates all available data. These time periods were designed around two inflation events in 2008 and 2014, when a sudden and significant increase in vertical velocity was observed. Inversion of these time periods independently allowed us to create a magma volume time-series that is related to the physical migration of magma defined by the estimated source parameters. The best fit model parameters resulting from these inversions describes magma storage in the form of an oblate spheroid centered on the northeastern rim of the caldera of Akutan volcano, extending from a depth of 7 km to 8 km, with a length of ~3.5 km, a strike of ~N165°E, and a dip of ~63° from the horizontal to the southwest. Our model results were compared with seismic studies and found to support previous interpretations of episodic inflation beneath Akutan volcano with complicated magma storage at intermediate depths. The inflation event observed in 2008 was estimated to be the result of an injection of magma of ~ 0.08 km3 that was followed in 2014 by an additional increase in volume of ~0.06 km3. No periods of deflation were observed in the GPS data after these events, and we believe the total volume of magma accumulated in this region, ~ 0.2 km3, remains in a shallow storage system beneath Akutan Volcano.

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Earth Surface & Interior Program (ESI)