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Journal of Geophysical Research

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Volcanology -- Research, Lava flows -- Rheology -- Eastern California, Lava flows -- Measurement, Geomorphology


We analyze the intrusion of the 11-km-long lnyo Dike at the margins of Long Valley caldera, eastern California. The dike trends N07°W and is divided into at least three segments which are rotated by as much as 25° with respect to the main trend. The dike seems affected primarily by the regional stress field of right-lateral shear of the western United States and by the local thermal conditions of the crust; the dike seems unaffected by the preexisting caldera margins and Sierra-Nevada frontal fault system. The high heat flow in Long Valley caldera implies that crustal rocks below 3-4.5 km deform by steady state creep under tectonic strain rate and support low to vanishing tectonic shear stresses. The upper rocks, above 3-4.5 km, deform by frictional slip along fractures and may support tectonic shear stresses as high as 24 MPa. We demonstrate that depth variations of tectonic stresses may have a profound effect on the segmentation and rotation of dikes, both at Long Valley and in other areas of high heat flow. The analys is places constraints on several tectonic conditions. The lnyo Dike intruded under a tectonic stress state with a horizontal maximum compression oriented N07°W. The maximum extensional fracture strength of the host rocks is 1-2.5 MPa, and the pressure drop within the propagating Inyo Dike was about 0.55 MPa/km. The volatile overpressure in the magma chamber was about 15 MPa during eruption of rhyolitic lavas at the Inyo Domes.


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*At the time of publication Jonathan Fink was affiliated with Arizona State University

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