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Title: Relocation of Light and Moderate-Magnitude ( M4-6) Seismicity Along the Central Mid-Atlantic

Abstract

In this study, we estimate precise relative epicentroid locations of earthquakes along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) between 12°N and 19°N using intermediate-period Rayleigh and Love wave cross-correlation measurements. We relocate 152 earthquakes with magnitudes ranging between 4.0 and 6.0 and when possible use P waveform modeling to estimate centroid depths. We compare surface-wave locations to locations in the U.S. Geological Survey, Global Centroid Moment Tensor, and Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory hydroacoustic catalogs (Smith et al., 2002, https://doi.org/10.1029/2001GL013912) and demonstrate that surface-wave based relative location techniques provide significant improvement on precision. Our analyses shift locations to more tectonically consistent alignments that correlate strongly with bathymetric features. Relocations along the Fifteen-Twenty and Marathon Fracture Zones (FZs) move to within a few kilometers of the transform bathymetry. Events along ridge segments scatter over a distance of about 10–20 km perpendicular to the local plate boundary and most ridge-segment seismicity clusters spatially. North of the Fifteen-Twenty FZ, ridge events along several segments locate preferentially in the North American Plate, suggesting recent asymmetric seismic strain release and perhaps asymmetric spreading. Along the ridge between 13°N and 14°N, moderate-magnitude seismic strain release concentrates in an area with two active oceanic core complexes (OCC) along the westernmore » rift boundary, but the largest events along this segment appear to occur along the eastern boundary rift valley faults and represent deformation opposite the OCC detachment surface processes. Finally, precise moderate-magnitude earthquake epicentroid locations for events that occurred over the last few decades complement the results of temporary seismometer deployments that have imaged microseismic activity along the MAR.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [2]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
1477660
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1467919
Report Number(s):
[LA-UR-18-21839]
[Journal ID: ISSN 1525-2027]
Grant/Contract Number:  
[AC52-06NA25396]
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
Additional Journal Information:
[ Journal Volume: 19; Journal Issue: 8]; Journal ID: ISSN 1525-2027
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; Mid-Atlantic Ridge; earthquake location; surface waves; Fifteen-Twenty transform; oceanic core complexes

Citation Formats

Cleveland, Kenneth Michael, Ammon, Charles J., and Kintner, Jonas. Relocation of Light and Moderate-Magnitude (M4-6) Seismicity Along the Central Mid-Atlantic. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1029/2018GC007573.
Cleveland, Kenneth Michael, Ammon, Charles J., & Kintner, Jonas. Relocation of Light and Moderate-Magnitude (M4-6) Seismicity Along the Central Mid-Atlantic. United States. doi:10.1029/2018GC007573.
Cleveland, Kenneth Michael, Ammon, Charles J., and Kintner, Jonas. Wed . "Relocation of Light and Moderate-Magnitude (M4-6) Seismicity Along the Central Mid-Atlantic". United States. doi:10.1029/2018GC007573. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1477660.
@article{osti_1477660,
title = {Relocation of Light and Moderate-Magnitude (M4-6) Seismicity Along the Central Mid-Atlantic},
author = {Cleveland, Kenneth Michael and Ammon, Charles J. and Kintner, Jonas},
abstractNote = {In this study, we estimate precise relative epicentroid locations of earthquakes along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) between 12°N and 19°N using intermediate-period Rayleigh and Love wave cross-correlation measurements. We relocate 152 earthquakes with magnitudes ranging between 4.0 and 6.0 and when possible use P waveform modeling to estimate centroid depths. We compare surface-wave locations to locations in the U.S. Geological Survey, Global Centroid Moment Tensor, and Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory hydroacoustic catalogs (Smith et al., 2002, https://doi.org/10.1029/2001GL013912) and demonstrate that surface-wave based relative location techniques provide significant improvement on precision. Our analyses shift locations to more tectonically consistent alignments that correlate strongly with bathymetric features. Relocations along the Fifteen-Twenty and Marathon Fracture Zones (FZs) move to within a few kilometers of the transform bathymetry. Events along ridge segments scatter over a distance of about 10–20 km perpendicular to the local plate boundary and most ridge-segment seismicity clusters spatially. North of the Fifteen-Twenty FZ, ridge events along several segments locate preferentially in the North American Plate, suggesting recent asymmetric seismic strain release and perhaps asymmetric spreading. Along the ridge between 13°N and 14°N, moderate-magnitude seismic strain release concentrates in an area with two active oceanic core complexes (OCC) along the western rift boundary, but the largest events along this segment appear to occur along the eastern boundary rift valley faults and represent deformation opposite the OCC detachment surface processes. Finally, precise moderate-magnitude earthquake epicentroid locations for events that occurred over the last few decades complement the results of temporary seismometer deployments that have imaged microseismic activity along the MAR.},
doi = {10.1029/2018GC007573},
journal = {Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems},
number = [8],
volume = [19],
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {7}
}

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Figures / Tables:

Figure 1 Figure 1: Map of the study region. (A) The stretch of the mid-Atlantic Ridge investigated in this study is highlighted in the red box. White stars indicate the hydrophone locations used in the hydro-acoustic based catalog (PMEL) (Smith et al., 2002). (B) The initial NEIC epicenters are located in graymore » and this study’s epicentroids are shown in red. Each marker is scaled relative to the NEIC event magnitude. Solid black lines show how our locations shift each event. The uncertainty of each location is marked with vertical and horizontal lines. Plate motion arrows are calculated using the MORVEL model (DeMets et al., 2010). The dashed line shows an approximation of the plate boundaries based on bathymetry. The white stars on the right vertical axis show the latitude of the two lower hydrophone stations shown in subplot A.« less

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