Neat stuff in the Field

Salton Sea mud pots and mud volcanoes, spring 2010

In March and April 2010, we took three trips to the southern Salton Sea in California's Imperial Valley to study the mud pots and mud volcanoes. We are interested in how they erupt, in particular, how and why they respond to earthquakes (this may also help us better understand the LUSI mud volcano in Indonesia).

We measured gas flux, temperature and collected mud for rheological measurements in the lab. We also collected high speed video of bursting bubbles and infrared videos of the eruptions.

Two weeks after our second trip, the magnitude 7.2 El Mayor earthquake (Sunday April 4, 2010) occurred. We were able to make measurements 41 hours after the earthquake. We documented increased gas flux, temperature, and eruptive activity. Paper documenting the response.

Active flow.

Mud pots (adjacent to the mud volcano shown above).

Max Rudolph at a set of mound springs. These had increased discharge after the earthquake.

Return to the field home page

Return to Michael's home page