Seismicity is way above average at Newberry Volcano in Oregon

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posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 06:08 AM

With 37 quakes last month and 12 last week, which is far beyond average, perhaps we might keep a weary eye on this beast. After all:

Newberry Volcano is the largest volcano in the Cascades volcanic arc and covers an area the size of Rhode Island (about 3100 km2 or 1200 mi2). Unlike familiar cone-shaped Cascades volcanoes, Newberry was built into the shape of a broad shield by repeated eruptions over the past 400,000 years. Throughout its eruptive history, Newberry has produced ash and tephra, pyroclastic flows, and lava flows that range in composition from basalt to rhyolite. About 75,000 years ago a major explosive eruption and collapse event created a large volcanic depression at its summit that now hosts two caldera lakes. Newberry last erupted about 1,300 years ago, and present-day hot springs and geologically young lava flows indicate that it is still an active volcano.

That is a pretty big darn volcano!

Current alert status is at normal, but you can see the recent seismicity here at PNSN:

Hopefully it is just a passing flurry of activity that will die down into nothing, as they usually do.

But, keep in mind:

Newberry is one of the largest Quaternary volcanoes in the United States, with a caldera that spans 6 to 8 km across. The center of the volcano is located about 35 km SE of Bend, OR.

Construction of the volcano began about 400,000 years ago; since that time it has erupted in a variety of styles ranging from basalt flows to far-reaching explosions of ash. A major explosion and collapse event about 75,000 years ago created Newberry's summit caldera. The caldera contains multiple hot springs, indicating that it is still hydrothermally active. These hot springs and multiple youthful lava flows indicate that the volcano could reawaken at any time.

While not likely that it will awaken, the point is that it COULD. So keeping an eye on this recent seismicity is in order. I'll see if I can pull some strings as it were and get us some more info about what some scientists think of this activity, and if it is of any concern.

Just FYI:
Nearby towns: Sunriver, Bend, LaPine, Redmond

posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 06:28 AM
Dang I'm within its range....... I will keep an eye on this post for information.

posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 06:50 AM
Hey TA, that microactivity is fully anticipated since the drilling project began.
Here is a link to the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratories monitoring page and this link is to Alta Rock Energy's description of the project.

All of the recent seismicity is tiny and exactly where they are drilling for this geothermal exploration project.
No worries!

ETA: Here is one more link to PNSN's blog post about the project.
edit on 12/6/2012 by Olivine because: more info

posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 06:52 AM
Ok, if you are back, I am keeping an eye on this.

As usual, thank you for the informative post without scaring us.

posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 07:00 AM
You're back!

Looking forward to hearing any further info you can get - everytime I heart about volcanic hot springs I think of the beginning of Dantes peak. Hopefully its just a bit of activity and it'll settle down.

posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 07:05 AM
reply to post by Olivine

Jeez, now they can trigger these quakes. I had no idea.

One detail about jargon - triggered earthquakes are pushed over the edge by a geophysical disturbance but the causative stress was already in the ground, induced earthquakes are powered by the disturbance, in other words, for induced events, the stress that powered the event was not present until the disturbance.

Thanks for the links. Guess I had my head stuck in the sand, I didn't know this was happening.

posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 07:14 AM
reply to post by Doodle19815

It can be a little frightening when you here someone is drilling a volcano, but personally, I will accept this avenue of energy production over drilling for oil offshore or fracking anyday.
Iceland has been very successful with their geothermal production, as well as the The Geysers in California (although that plant is too close to a decent sized fault IMO).

The potential for a volcanic eruption at Newberry is believed to be very low.
edit on 12/6/2012 by Olivine because: spelling

posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 07:34 AM
I am wondering if the Land rise and activity of Three Sisters is also ramping up....??
The whole cascadia seems to be getting more activity of late

posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 02:30 PM
reply to post by TrueAmerican

Hi TA, good to see you.

Thanks for the heads up on this one.
I for one wasn't aware of its well-above-average activity and as you mentioned, while it's not likely that anything much will come of this, it could.

Looking at the PNSN seismicity page, the majority of the recent quakes there have been very shallow. And they have sure ramped up lately! I had a look using PNSN's onsite "Analyze" software for the indicated region below:

...and we can see that there have been 58 quakes in the area since late March. However, graphing it out (again using the PNSN's onsite software), we get this:

(Click on the thumbnail to see the full-sized graph)

Things really started to get busy at the end of October, and all through November they have been increasing in frequency.

So, well worth keeping an eye on.

edit on 6/12/12 by JustMike because: sorted out coding. Hopefully.

posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 03:51 PM
Oh, yeah, hi again everyone....
Thanks for the replies.

don't mind me...just sometimes I need a break and so I take em.

So that's great about the geothermal production and drilling....But I just have one question....Why if all the drilling activity is on the left side of the lakes, are we seeing some quakes on the, umm, right?
If I was a volcano, I wouldn't like my arse being drilled either.
edit on Thu Dec 6th 2012 by TrueAmerican because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 09:13 PM
Saw this thread and started to smile. Welcome back TA, I have missed your wisdom and your knowledge. I saw a 1.1 quake posted on USGS for this area a few days back and made a mental note. Usually in this area when there is a seismo event it is usually to small to make the quake chart.

Why if all the drilling activity is on the left side of the lakes, are we seeing some quakes on the, umm, right?
Very good question indeed.

posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 09:36 PM
I have camped and fished at East lake, right next to Paulina lake (Newberry crater). There were little hot springs bubbling up from around the shore that I found interesting. The trout there are huge, but are inedible in any quantity due to the mercury or sulfur content, can't remember what the info center told us. I was wondering how active that place was, guess I know now. Don't plan on returning anytime soon!

posted on Dec, 7 2012 @ 04:44 AM
reply to post by AuntB

Yeah, thanks AuntB.

I did send an email to my contacts, and so far no answer to that question. They just replied asking if I had contacted the CVO about it, which I haven't yet, but also commented that the increased seismicity has not been enough to cause an increase in the alert level. In monitoring Newberry myself, the seismicity, although increased overall, does not appear to be that significant. Yet.

posted on Dec, 7 2012 @ 02:25 PM
ok, so a little update on this one-

I wrote again to one of my scientist contacts (a very well known scientist, I might add), saying back this:

Well apparently most of it is being caused because of the drilling project (geothermal) to the west of it, and the seismicity was anticipated. What I want to know then is why we are also getting quakes well east of the drilling, and near the crater then, too. I suppose they anticipated that too, eh?

To which they replied:

There are a couple things to consider. First, we put in a new network there so that we can better locate earthquakes (triggered and natural). So the threshold has come way down in the last year and some of what you are seeing could be earthquakes that are natural. Second, the purpose of their project is to create permeability, which means they want to create earthquakes. No energy source comes without its tradeoffs. Geothermal energy is pretty low impact compared with many... and their injection fluid is H2O... unlike some other drilling protocols.

They WANT to create earthquakes? I thought we had HAARP for that?

Aww jeez! Well I suppose since the geothermal plants at the Geysers and Long Valley haven't caused an eruption yet, then let's just keep drilling all the volcanoes until we do! Lookout Yellowstone, you're next! ( even though I am told that there will never ever be geothermal development there).

Anyway, kidding aside, I don't really see much if any seismicity there at Newberry at the moment, unless things change. If so, someone update the thread...

posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 03:11 PM
Hmm, the last hours today there has been another episode of small seismic activity at Newberry, including a 2.1 and the latest a 2.4.

That 2.4 appears to be pretty far away from the geothermal activity...I hope they aren't aggravating that beast.

EDIT: They relocated that quake over to the geothermal activity area. :shk:

What is it with the PNSN and relocating quakes? Huh John?
edit on Wed Dec 19th 2012 by TrueAmerican because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 20 2012 @ 12:17 AM
Thanks for bringing this recent activity to our attention. The Newberry volcano just fascinates me. Many years ago I had the opportunity to walk on one of the ancient lava flows near Bend. Oregon is home to an ancient beast that lies dormant.

The picture above with the earthquake activity around the volcano reminded me of a unique face I’ve seen before.

Aztec Sun Stone

The tongue reminds me of a lava flow from a volcano vent.


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