Science and sociology butt heads in tomography experiment in Sacred Mountains



After a lengthy battle against opposition by specific interest groups, researchers with the Jemez Tomography Experiment (JTEX) investigated the crustal structure beneath a large, continental silicic magmatic system in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico (Figure 1) in 1995. The seismic component involved both active and passive sources as well as a modest effort to interpret existing magnetotelluric data acquired during geothermal exploration of Valles caldera. While the data are still being processed and interpreted, early results indicate that magma is present in the middle crust and that an additional negative velocity anomaly exists at the base of the crust. Additionally, the southeastern part of the caldera is at least a kilometer deeper than the northwestern part.