U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010–1320
This report supersedes
Ewert, John W., Harpel, Christopher J., and Brooks, Suzanna K., 2005, Bibliography of literature pertaining to Long Valley Caldera and associated volcanic fields: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 00-221, version 1.1
Ewert, John W., and Harpel, Christopher J., 2000, Bibliography of literature pertaining to Long Valley Caldera and associated volcanic fields: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 00-221, version 1.0
On May 25–27, 1980, Long Valley caldera was rocked by four M=6 earthquakes that heralded the onset of a wave of seismic activity within the caldera which has continued through the present. Unrest has taken the form of seismic swarms, uplift of the resurgent dome, and areas of vegetation killed by increased CO2 emissions, all interpreted as resulting from magma injection into different levels beneath the caldera, as well as beneath Mammoth Mountain along the southwest rim of the caldera. Continuing economic development in the Mammoth Lakes area has swelled the local population, increasing the risk to people and property if an eruption were to occur. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been monitoring geophysical activity in the Long Valley area since the mid-1970s and continues to track the unrest in real time with a sophisticated network of geophysical sensors. Hazards information obtained by this monitoring is provided to local, State, and Federal officials and to the public through the Long Valley Observatory.
The Long Valley area also was scientifically important before the onset of current unrest. Lying at the eastern foot of the Sierra Nevada, the deposits from this active volcanic system have provided fertile ground for research into Neogene tectonics, Quaternary geology and geomorphology, regional stratigraphy, and volcanology. In the early 1970s, intensive studies of the area began through the USGS Geothermal Investigations Program, owing to the presence of a large young silicic volcanic system. The paroxysmal eruption of Long Valley caldera about 760,000 years ago produced the Bishop Tuff and associated Bishop ash. The Bishop Tuff is a well-preserved ignimbrite deposit that has continued to provide new and developing insights into the dynamics of ignimbrite-forming eruptions. Another extremely important aspect of the Bishop Tuff is that it is the oldest known normally magnetized unit of the Brunhes Chron. Thus, the age of the Bishop Tuff is used to define the beginning of the Brunhes Chron and helps constrain the Brunhes-Matuyama boundary. The Bishop ash, which was dispersed as far east as Nebraska, Kansas, and Texas, provides an important tephrostratigraphic marker throughout the Western United States.
The obsidian domes of both the Mono and Inyo Craters, which were produced by rhyolitic eruptions in the past 40,000 years, have been well studied, including extensive scientific drilling through the domes. Exploratory drilling to 3-km depth on the resurgent dome and subsequent instrumentation of the Long Valley Exploratory Well (LVEW) have led to a number of important new insights. Scientific drilling also has been done within the Casa Diablo geothermal field, which, aside from drilling, has been commercially developed and is currently feeding 40 MW of power into the Southern California Edison grid.
Studies in all the above-mentioned volcanic fields have contributed to the extensive scientific literature published on the Long Valley region. Although most of this scientific literature has been published since 1970, a significant amount of historical literature extends backward to the late 1800s. The purpose of this bibliography is to compile references pertaining to the Long Valley region from all time periods and all Earth science fields into a single listing, thus providing an easily accessible guide to the published literature for current and future researchers.
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Ewert, J.W., Harpel, C.J., Brooks, S.K., and Marcaida, Mae, 2011, Bibliography of literature pertaining to Long Valley Caldera and associated volcanic fields: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010-1320, 146 p. and database.