Microearthquake patterns following the 1998 eruption of Axial Volcano, Juan de Fuca Ridge: Mechanical relaxation and thermal strain

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Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth
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Jan 14
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Ocean bottom seismic networks deployed following the 1998 eruption of Axial seamount reveal an evolving pattern of microearthquake activity associated with subsurface magmatism and thermal strain. Seismicity rates decay steadily over 15 months of observation (February 8, 1998, to April 30, 1999), consistent with a trend toward thermal and mechanical equilibrium in the shallow crust after the magmatic event. Immediately after the eruption, seismicity rates were high for about 60 days in the southeast corner of the caldera where lava flows from the 1998 eruption were mapped. A small burst of seismic activity was observed on the southeast shoulder of the volcano from 100 to 150 days after the eruption. These events, which are characterized by slip on nearly vertical faults in the shallow crust, extend about 6 km from the southeast corner of the caldera and overlie a mid-crustal low-velocity zone. After this episode, seismicity rates remain low until the end of the observation period, 455 days after the eruption. Shallow (similar to0.7 km depth) events, consistent with thermal contraction and volume changes of similar to2 x 10(-3) m(3) in similar to5 m(3) sources, are observed in individual clusters beneath hydrothermal vents within the 1998 lava flow at the southeast edge of the caldera. Microearthquakes observed during the last 70 days of observation are distributed around the central caldera, most likely representing small amounts of subsidence on caldera faults during the final stages of equilibration following melt withdrawal associated with the 1998 eruption.


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Doi 10.1029/2003jb002499