Basement Structure and Implications for Hydrothermal Circulation Patterns in the Western Moat of Long Valley Caldera, California

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Journal Article: Basement Structure and Implications for Hydrothermal Circulation Patterns in the Western Moat of Long Valley Caldera, California

Abstract
Detailed surface mapping, subsurface drill hole data, and geophysical modeling are the basis of a structural and hydrothermal model for the western part of Long Valley caldera. Six fault zones are recognized in the western caldera with dominant orientations of north, northwest, and northeast, sub-parallel to regional fault trends in the surrounding Sierran basement. The internal structural geometry of the cores of 12 exogenous domes inside and outside the caldera suggests that the domes erupted at the intersections of these principal fault trends rather than along the axis of a single dike. Gravity modeling and subsurface data from deep geothermal wells indicate that the floor of the caldera is segmented into a number of discrete fault blocks with varying offsets. One of the northeast trending fault zones, designated Discovery fault in this paper, appears to be part of the original Sierran embayment that existed before caldera collapse. Recent hydrothermal alteration occurs along Discovery fault strands and composite vertical offset of intracaldera volcanic units across the entire fault zone may be as much as 400 m. Field relationships, geophysical interpretations, and interpretaions of drill hole data suggest that this fault is a fundamental flaw in the western caldera. The preexisting tectonic framework of the basement rocks controlled the configuration of the western caldera floor and, through it, the location of postcollapse eruptive centers. These deep basement structures may also provide the high fracture density which controls circulation in the present geothermal system of Long Valley.

Authors 
Gene A. Suemnicht and Robert J. Varga








Published Journal 
Journal of Geophysical Research, 1988





DOI 
10.1029/JB093iB11p13191

Online 
Internet link for Basement Structure and Implications for Hydrothermal Circulation Patterns in the Western Moat of Long Valley Caldera, California

Citation

Gene A. Suemnicht,Robert J. Varga. 1988. Basement Structure and Implications for Hydrothermal Circulation Patterns in the Western Moat of Long Valley Caldera, California. Journal of Geophysical Research. 93(B11):13191-13207.


Related Geothermal Exploration Activities
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Areas (1)
  1. Long Valley Caldera Geothermal Area
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