Hey guys! Some interesting stuff is happening. Nothing major, but interesting nonetheless. Ever since the small shallow earthquake swarm occurred at Mt. Rainier on September 19, there have been some interesting seismic events occurring. They are not that large with the largest event of September 23-24 being about the size of a magnitude 1.0 earthquake or so. Please click the title of this post or "read more" to read more. Data will be included of the events in question. Helicorders (the chart on which seismograms reside) of seismic stations RER, RCS, and OBSR will be shown as well.
To start off, if you want to skip the explanation, scroll all the way down to see the actual seismogram/spectrogram analysis images!
On September 19, 2018 there was a small, but fast paced earthquake swarm at Mount Rainier within the strato-cone itself. Ever since this earthquake swarm, I have noticed some peculiar waveforms. Of course they have occurred here and there prior to the swarm but I have noticed them alot more lately. In my most recent blog post about Mount Rainier I posted the video I uploaded to YouTube.
I thought I discovered a DLP, a deep long period event, which is usually connected to magma movement deep within a magma reservoir or the surrounding area. Sometimes magma can intrude horizontally deep below a volcano and follow fault systems and can trigger these DLPs. From about 1980-2009, over 60 DLPs were detected beneath Mt. Baker, Rainier, and other cascades volcanoes. All are assumed to be connected to magma movement and all those which were detected occurred during non-eruptive activity. At the cascades volcanoes, not one DLP since 1980 has correlated with any volcanic eruptions. Of course they probably occur far prior to an eruption, possibly a calling card of sorts many years before an eruption even begins to be a possibility, but have not been seen during actual eruptions in the United States (yes, even the 1980 St Helens eruptions).
It is still unknown whether or not it was a DLP that I discovered, but recently there has been an increase in these odd events. Directly below is the seismogram/spectrogram analysis image of a real confirmed DLP event at Mt Rainier. I am not sure what year this occurred but I believe it was more than a few years ago. This data was kindly provided to me by Wes Thelen of the Cascades Volcano Observatory.
A confirmed Deep Long Period event a few years ago at Mt Rainier. This is seismic station RCM. DLPs can look a little different than this and DLPs are not the only type of volcanic seismicity. Remember depending on depth, rock characteristics, magma characteristics, and much more, there can be thousands of different types of volcanic signals at volcanoes worldwide.
Now some of these events I discovered for September 23-24, 2018 appear more like a DLP, which is related to magma movement, and other events are more emergent, meaning they increase and decrease, which would be indicative of a strong surface event such as an avalanche or a rock fall. But the thing that is weird is that all of these events I am about to show you arrived on 4-5 surrounding seismograph stations. Of course they probably would if they were strong avalanches, but ever since 9/23/18 00:00UTC to about now as I am writing this, 9/24/18 20:00UTC, there have been 8 confirmed events. That is 8 events within about a 1 1/2 day time frame. They are not earthquakes and some have different characteristics than others. Some appear to be surface noise but how is it possible that 8 avalanches happened within about 1-2 days or so? Wouldn't we hear about it? And if not, wouldn't hikers and the webcams notice the major changes occurring? I am pretty sure someone would have said something. That is alot of change for one mountain! Below are the helicorders for RER, RCS, and OBSR. The post will continue after the helicorder images.
Now at the end of this post I will add the spectrogram/seismogram analysis images of each 8 events that occurred with a simple caption for each image. I came to the conclusion that a total of 8 events occurred by cross correlating their arrivals using the program WAVES and seismic stations FMW, LO2, RCS, RER, and OBSR. In order for me to confirm the event it must show on at least 4 of the 5 stations. Also a minimum of 3 seismic station arrivals may happen if data is missing for one of the seismic stations. The image directly below shows the locations for the seismic stations at Mt. Rainier:
Whatever is truly occurring, it is happening directly on, or under, Mount Rainier. Seismic stations RCS and RER picked up the arrivals of these events first. I am not attempting to locate the epicenters or the depths and magnitudes, but just to confirm these are true seismic events. Because if these really are all avalanches or rockfalls, then that must mean the mountain is shifting alot more than what we usually see. However since I live in Bothell, WA, some distance away from Rainier but still close enough to see it, I can tell you that it has been kind of cold lately. And for this many avalanches to occur within a day or so, wouldn't the weather have to be getting hotter? And if this is being caused by glacier movement on the summit, wouldn't that be related to heat as well? Because it is pretty cold up there right now! I doubt this is related to glacier movement, but if it is then why are the glaciers starting to shift all of a sudden?
I am still extremely puzzled by these events and they make no sense to me. I have tried to find out the conditions on the summit of Rainier for the past few days and from what I have found so far is that there doesn't seem to be that many avalanches or rockfalls occurring. Maybe there has, but I haven't found much. If someone has seen a rockfall or avalanche at Rainier over the past few days, please let me know! Below are the seismic analysis images of each event. Could something be changing deep beneath the volcano? If these signals truly are related to Rainier's volcanic or hydrothermal system, and since some of the events are emergent, it would seem they could be occurring near the magma chamber itself. Just a theory. Possibly even at or beneath the magma reservoir for Rainier. Nothing is set in stone yet, but regardless of the cause this stuff is pretty crazy!
Remember for me to confirm these specific events, they must have shown on 4 out of 5 of the seismic stations I used for the cross correlation using the seismic analysis program WAVES. Data obtained by IRIS/USGS and the seismic program SWARM aided me in the creation of these analysis images. Station RCS used for analysis images. If you wish to see how I cross correlate seismic events to confirm them, feel free to email me at any time! However I am probably going to add it to one of my coming videos.
And here is the most impressive event out of all of the events for September 23/24, 2018. Note the high frequency, emergent characteristics usually indicative of surface events. However this would be the 5th "surface event" for the 23rd and the 2nd major event for the 23rd as well. Ice quakes are definitely out of the question. So what could these be? This was so strong you can actually see it in the helicorders in the beginning of the post.
Okay, now this is the most interesting event out of all of them! It does not appear to be very emergent and carries dominant frequencies of around 2-6HZ making this a low frequency event. The characteristics of this event is strikingly similar to DLPs. Although DLPs usually carry a slightly lower frequency, this should be monitored much more closely. I will be watching Rainier over the next 6 months just as close as I monitor seismic data for Yellowstone and Long Valley supervolcanoes. So what is going on lately with Mt Rainier? Could this be related to changes within the hydrothermal or volcanic system within the infamous strato-volcano? Or could this signal a massive change in the glaciers and snow pack on the mountain? Both possibilities don't sound very friendly. Thank you for you time and God bless!
Ben Ferraiuolo is a fast learner and someone who will always stand for the truth. Visit "About Me" for more!