Seismic evidence for a cold serpentinized mantle wedge beneath Mount St Helens

S. M. Hansen*, B. Schmandt, A. Levander, E. Kiser, J. E. Vidale, G. A. Abers, K. C. Creager

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Mount St Helens is the most active volcano within the Cascade arc; however, its location is unusual because it lies 50 km west of the main axis of arc volcanism. Subduction zone thermal models indicate that the down-going slab is decoupled from the overriding mantle wedge beneath the forearc, resulting in a cold mantle wedge that is unlikely to generate melt. Consequently, the forearc location of Mount St Helens raises questions regarding the extent of the cold mantle wedge and the source region of melts that are responsible for volcanism. Here using, high-resolution active-source seismic data, we show that Mount St Helens sits atop a sharp lateral boundary in Moho reflectivity. Weak-to-absent PmP reflections to the west are attributed to serpentinite in the mantle-wedge, which requires a cold hydrated mantle wedge beneath Mount St Helens (<∼700 °C). These results suggest that the melt source region lies east towards Mount Adams.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13242
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalNature Communications
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2016. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

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