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U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010–1319

The 1996-2009 Borehole Dilatometer Installations, Operation, and Maintenance at Sites in Long Valley Caldera, California

By Glenn Myren, Malcolm Johnston, and Robert Mueller

Introduction

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High seismicity levels with accelerating uplift (under the resurgent dome) in Long Valley caldera in the eastern Sierra Nevada from 1989 to 1997, triggered upgrades to dilational strainmeters and other instrumentation installed in the early 1980’s following a series of magnitude 6 earthquakes. This included two additional high-resolution borehole strainmeters and replacement of the failed strainmeter at Devil’s Postpile. The purpose of the borehole-monitoring network is to monitor crustal deformation and other geophysical parameters associated with volcanic intrusions and earthquakes in the Long Valley Caldera. Additional instrumentation was added at these sites to improve the capability of providing continuous monitoring of the magma source under the resurgent dome. Sites were selected in regions of hard crystalline rock, where the expected signals from magmatic activity were calculated to be a maximum and the probability of an earthquake of magnitude 4 or greater is large. For the most part, the dilatometers were installed near existing arrays of surface tiltmeters, seismometers, level line, and GPS arrays. At each site, attempts are made to separate tectonic and volcanic signals from known noise sources in each instrument type.

Each of these sites was planned to be a multi-parameter monitoring site, which included measurements of 3-component seismic velocity and acceleration, borehole strain, tilt, pore pressure and magnetic field. Using seismicity, geophysical knowledge, geologic and topographic maps, and geologists recommendations, lists of preliminary sites were chosen. Additional requirements were access, and telemetry constraints. When the final site choice was made, a permit was obtained from the U.S. Forest Service.

Following this selection process, two new borehole sites were installed on the north and south side of the Long Valley Caldera in June of 1999. One site was located near Big Spring Campground to the east of Crestview. The second site was located at the Motocross Track (near Old Mammoth) in the South Moat. This report describes the methods used to install these strainmeters and various other types of borehole instruments at these sites together with the site at Devil’s Postpile and telemeter the data obtained to the USGS base in Menlo Park, Calif.

  • This report is available only on the Web.

For additional information:
Contact Information, Earthquake Science Center, Menlo Park Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
345 Middlefield Road, MS 977
Menlo Park, California 94025
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/

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Suggested citation:

Myren, Glenn, Johnston, Malcolm, and Mueller, Robert, 2011, The 1996-2009 borehole dilatometer installations, operation, and maintenance at sites in Long Valley, Caldera, California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010-1319, 159 p.



Contents

1. Introduction

2. Installation

3. Electronics Enclosures

4. Surface Electronics and Operation

5. Detailed Description of Dilatometer Electronics Operation

6. Surface Pressure Transducers

7. Dilatometer Maintenance

8. Appendix

9. Acknowledgements

10. Drawings, Schematics, & Photos


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