Peeking at the plumbing of one of the Aleutian's most-active volcanoes

Cleveland volcano. Credit: Diana Roman

A new approach to analyzing seismic data reveals deep vertical zones of low seismic velocity in the plumbing system underlying Alaska’s Cleveland volcano, one of the most-active of the more than 70 Aleutian volcanoes. The findings are published in Scientific Reports by Helen Janiszewski, recently of Carnegie, now at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, and Carnegie’s Lara Wagner and Diana Roman.

Arc volcanoes like Cleveland form over plate boundaries where one tectonic plate slides beneath another. They are linked to the Earth’s mantle by complex subsurface structures that cross the full thickness of the planet’s crust. These structures are more complex than the large chambers of molten rock that resemble a textbook illustration of a volcano. Rather, they comprise an interlaced array of solid rock and a “mushy” mix of partially…

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