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Hydrologically Induced Deformation in Long Valley Caldera and Adjacent Sierra Nevada

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Vertical and horizontal components of GNSS displacements in the Long Valley Caldera and adjacent Sierra Nevada range show a clear correlation with hydrological trends at both multiyear and seasonal time scales. We observe a clear vertical and horizontal seasonal deformation pattern primarily attributable to the solid earth response to hydrological surface loading at large-to-regional (Sierra Nevada range) scales. Several GNSS sites, located at the eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada along the southwestern rim of Long Valley Caldera, also show significant horizontal deformation that cannot be explained by elastic deformation from surface loading. Due to the location of these sites and the strong correlation between their horizontal displacements and spring discharge, we hypothesize that this deformation reflects poroelastic processes related to snowmelt runoff water infiltrating into the Sierra Nevada slopes around Long Valley Caldera. Interestingly, this is also an area where water infiltrates to feed the local hydrothermal system, and where snowmelt-induced earthquake swarms have been recently detected.

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