The CAFE Experiment: A Joint Seismic and MT Investigation of the Cascadia Subduction System

Shane McGary, Ph.D., 2013
Robert Evans, Advisor

In this thesis we present results from inversion of data using dense arrays of collocated seismic and magnetotelluric stations located in the Cascadia subduction zone region of central Washington. In the migrated seismic section, we clearly image the top of the slab and oceanic Moho, as well as a velocity increase corresponding to the eclogitization of the hydrated upper crust. A deeper velocity increase is interpreted as the eclogitization of metastable gabbros, assisted by fluids released from the dehydration of upper mantle chlorite. A low velocity feature interpreted as a fluid/melt phase is present above this transition. The serpentinized wedge and continental Moho are also imaged. The magnetotelluric image further constrains the fluid/melt features, showing a rising conductive feature that forms a column up to a conductor indicative of a magma chamber feeding Mt. Rainier. This feature also explains the disruption of the continental Moho found in the migrated image. Exploration of the assumption of smoothness implicit in the standard MT inversion provides tools that enable us to generate a more accurate MT model. This final MT model clearly demonstrates the link between slab derived fluids/melting and the Mt. Rainier magma chamber.