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Published September 15, 2001 | Published
Journal Article Open

Evidence for on-going inflation of the Socorro Magma Body, New Mexico, from interferometric synthetic aperture radar imaging


Interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) imaging of the central Rio Grande rift (New Mexico, USA) during 1992–1999 reveals a crustal uplift of several centimeters that spatially coincides with the seismologically determined outline of the Socorro magma body, one of the largest currently active magma intrusions in the Earth's continental crust. Modeling of interferograms shows that the observed deformation may be due to elastic opening of a sill-like intrusion at a rate of a few millimeters per year. Despite an apparent constancy of the geodetically determined uplift rate, thermodynamic arguments suggest that it is unlikely that the Socorro magma body has formed via steady state elastic inflation.

Additional Information

© 2001 by the American Geophysical Union. Received April 10, 2001; revised June 8, 2001; accepted June 28, 2001. Raw InSAR data are copyright of the European Space Agency, distributed by Eurimage, Italy, and acquired via the WInSAR Consortium. We thank Dave Stevenson and Dan McKenzie for discussions, and Paul Lundgren and an anonymous reviewer for comments that improved this manuscript. This work was supported by the NSF grant EAR-9980664. Contribution number 8809 of the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, Seismological Laboratory, California Institute of Technology. The data and modeling results presented in this paper are available from the authors.

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