Jenna Lente

Jenna Lente

Years participated in RESESS:

An Overview

Mentor: Geological Engineering
Academic Affiliation: Colorado School of Mines
Research and Writing Mentor: Dave Mencin, UNAVCO
Computer Mentor: Charlie Sievers, UNAVCO


Jenna grew up in Lakewood, Colorado. She currently attends the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado, studying Geological Engineering. Living in Colorado and being surrounded by some of the most amazing geology in the country sparked her interest in Earth Science. Most of all, the interest came from from seeing minerals in gem shops. She says, "They were all so beautiful and different and I loved them and needed to learn more about them." When not studying, she enjoys snowboarding and spending time with friends and family.


Yellowstone Lake seiche: Investigating the causes and implications regarding the caldera

It has recently been verified that signals detected on strainmeters throughout the Yellowstone National Park are caused by seiche waves in Yellowstone Lake. A seiche is a standing wave in an enclosed or partially enclosed body of water, leading to a harmonic, sloshing motion of the water. The purpose of this investigation is to determine whether both strong winds and changes in barometric changes are the main causes of the seiches. If wind was the only cause of the seiche, the signal would not be detected in winter, when the lake is covered with ice. However, the signal is detected throughout the year, implying that there must be an additional cause, such as a change in barometric pressure. This is evaluated by comparing both barometric pressure data and wind speed data against strainmeter data using event detection through the studied months of January 2011 through February 2012. The strainmeter data has been detrended to account for the weight of snow, with the calibration pulses and Earth tides having been removed. Causes related to seismic activity have been ruled out. It is important to understand more about the seiche because as a regularly occurring process, it can be incorporated to crustal models by using the lake’s mass and the known periodicity of its movements. The detection on strainmeters can be used to explain what lies under the lake, whether it is silicic magma or solid earth. Seiche signals detected on strainmeters over 20 km away from the lake indicate that there is not mostly solid earth under the lake. In addition, the seiche oscillates much longer than other seiches typically do, supporting the hypothesis of an extensive magma chamber beneath the lake. Preliminary results using visual correlations between the variables are inconclusive, indicating that another variable must be tested.