Long-period (LP, 0.5-5 Hz) seismicity, observed at volcanoes worldwide, is a recognized signature of unrest and eruption. Cyclic LP “drumbeating” was the characteristic seismicity accompanying the sustained dome-building phase of the 2004–2008 eruption of Mount St. Helens (MSH), WA. However, together with the LP drumbeating was a near-continuous, randomly occurring series of tiny LP seismic events (LP “subevents”), which may hold important additional information on the mechanism of seismogenesis at restless volcanoes. We employ template matching, phase-weighted stacking, and full-waveform inversion to image the source mechanism of one multiplet of these LP subevents at MSH in July 2005. The signal-to-noise ratios of the individual events are too low to produce reliable waveform inversion results, but the events are repetitive and can be stacked. We apply network-based template matching to 8 days of continuous velocity waveform data from 29 June to 7 July 2005 using a master event to detect 822 network triggers. We stack waveforms for 359 high-quality triggers at each station and component, using a combination of linear and phase-weighted stacking to produce clean stacks for use in waveform inversion. The derived source mechanism points to the volumetric oscillation (∼10 m3) of a subhorizontal crack located at shallow depth (∼30 m) in an area to the south of Crater Glacier in the southern portion of the breached MSH crater. A possible excitation mechanism is the sudden condensation of metastable steam from a shallow pressurized hydrothermal system as it encounters cool meteoric water in the outer parts of the edifice, perhaps supplied from snow melt.
This document was originally published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth by Wiley on behalf of the American Geophysical Union. Copyright restrictions may apply. doi: 10.1002/2015JB012279.
Matoza, Robin S.; Chouet, Bernard A.; Dawson, Phillip B.; Shearer, Peter M.; Haney, Matthew M.; Waite, Gregory P.; Moran, Seth C.; and Mikesell, T. Dylan. (2015). "Source Mechanism of Small Long-Period Events at Mount St. Helens in July 2005 Using Template Matching, Phase-Weighted Stacking, and Full-Waveform Inversion". Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 120(9), 6351-6364.