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Bubble collapse as the source of tremor at Old Faithful Geyser

Kedar, Sharon and Kanamori, Hiroo and Sturtevant, Bradford (1998) Bubble collapse as the source of tremor at Old Faithful Geyser. Journal of Geophysical Research B, 103 (B10). pp. 24283-24299. ISSN 2169-9313. doi:10.1029/98JB01824.

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Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone, was used as a natural laboratory for fluid-flow-induced seismic activity. Pressure measurements within the geyser's water column, obtained simultaneously with seismic measurements on the surface, demonstrated that the tremor observed at Old Faithful results from impulsive events in the geyser. Tremor intensity is controlled by the rate of occurrence of these impulsive events. There is no resonance observed within the water column. The impulsive events are modeled by a collapse of a spherical bubble, including the effects of residual non-condensible gas and damping. The pressure data can be explained by a collapse of a ∼5 cm radius bubble driven by a pressure difference of ΔP = 0.3×10^5 Pa and effective viscosity ν_E = 0.04 m^2/s. Using a quasi-static geyser model, we treat the individual bubble collapses as cooling events that occur when the water column reaches a critical temperature. Their rate of occurrence is controlled by the heating rate dT/dt of the water column. As a result, the intensity of the hydrothermal and seismic activities is determined by the heat and mass input rate into the geyser. It is demonstrated that a sharp widening of the conduit can cause the number of events per unit time to drop (as observed) while the water level is still rising and heat is being input, and thus the tremor intensity can be modulated by variations in the conduit shape.

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Kanamori, Hiroo0000-0001-8219-9428
Additional Information:© 1998 The American Geophysical Union. Paper number 98JB01824. Received November 12, 1997; Revised March 17, 1998; Accepted May 27, 1998. The authors wish to thank Yellowstone National Park Authorities, the Science Office, and the late Park Geologist Rick Hutchinson for invaluable help in carrying out the experiments. Doug Dreger at UC Berkeley; Blair Zajac; Craig Scrivner; Timothy Melbourne, and Miriam Jackson at Caltech; John Holt at JPL; Alessandro Pino at the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica, Italy, for hard work in the laboratory and in the field; Jim Westphal and Joe Shepherd at Caltech for shared expertise in the design of the probe; and Susan Kieffer for help in planning and analysis of the 1991 experiment. Special thanks to Start Cincera, Dave Johnson, Wayne Miller, Jose Nunez-Anzueto, Vick Nenow, and Bob Taylor at Caltech for invaluable technical support. We would also like to thank the reviewers for a thorough, constructive critique. Contribution 8492, Division of Geology and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology.
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Caltech Division of Geologya nd Planetary Sciences.8492
Issue or Number:B10
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20141028-165550332
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Official Citation:Kedar, S., Kanamori, H., & Sturtevant, B. (1998). Bubble collapse as the source of tremor at Old Faithful Geyser. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 103(B10), 24283-24299. doi: 10.1029/98jb01824
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:50972
Deposited On:29 Oct 2014 19:30
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 19:03

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