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Investigating location methods of surface events using seismic and infasound data at Mount Rainier

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Author(s): Weston A. Thelen, Seth C. Moran, Rebecca Kramer, Benjamin Pauk

Document Type: Presentation V25D-0151
Publisher: AGU Fall Meeting, New Orleans, LA
Published Year: 2021
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Mount Rainier, Washington looms large above a vulnerable population of permanent residents and transient tourists. The hazard most likely to impact the largest population is a sector collapse that incorporates water to transform into a mobile lahar. Such sector collapses have occurred most famously 5600 years ago in the Osceola Mudflow and most recently approximately 500 years ago in the Electron Mudflow. Weak, hydrothermally altered rock remains left over in the scar of the Electron Mudflow, and the failure of this rock is the most likely source area for the next lahar. In response to this hazard, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) is building the Rainier Lahar Detection System (RLDS), which when fully implemented, will provide early warning of a lahar to potentially impacted communities. A major part of the system is an enhanced network of seismometers and infrasound arrays that will make Mount Rainier one of the best monitored volcanoes in the Cascades. Thus far, 14 additional seismometers and 9 infrasound arrays have been installed, mainly on the west and south sides of the volcano. Approximately 20 additional sites are proposed to be installed. Several avalanches, rockfalls, icefalls and debris flows (collectively called surface events) have been recorded by the current network since improvements began in 2016. We use this dataset to assess different location methods for these surface events using complementary observations. Specifically, we consider amplitude and amplitude ratio source locations, envelope-based locations and infrasound back azimuths to understand the sensitivity of the individual methods within the RLDS monitoring network. The results of this analysis will help calibrate the RLDS network and inform decisions about the best algorithms to use for rapid detection of larger events that may impact downstream populations.

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Suggested Citations:
In Text Citation:
Thelen and others (2021) or (Thelen et al., 2021)

References Citation:
Thelen, W.A., S.C. Moran, R. Kramer, and B. Pauk, 2021, Investigating location methods of surface events using seismic and infasound data at Mount Rainier: Presentation V25D-0151, AGU Fall Meeting, New Orleans, LA,