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Keywords:

  • ridge;
  • earthquake;
  • spreading

Abstract

[1] We present automatically determined epicenters and magnitudes for 36,523 earthquakes recorded along the Endeavour segment between August 2003 and October 2006 using a local ocean-bottom seismometer (OBS) network. The catalog is dominated by two swarm sequences in January and February 2005 in the vicinity of the Endeavour overlapping spreading center, which included earthquakes in West Valley, the northern portion of the Endeavour segment, southwest Endeavour Valley, and the Endeavour vent fields. These swarms are attributed to volcanism including a dike intrusion on the northern Endeavour in February 2005 and smaller diking events on the propagating tip of the West Valley segment in both swarms. The dike on the northern Endeavour propagated to the south, which is inconsistent with magma sourced from the axial magma chamber beneath the elevated central portion of the segment. Following the swarms, seismic activity on the Endeavour segment decreased on average to ~15% of pre-swarm values and almost ceased at the segment ends. We infer that a 6 year non-eruptive event that started with a swarm in 1999 and finished with the 2005 swarms ruptured the entire segment and relieved plate-spreading stresses. The inferred coupling between the 1999 and 2005 events, the observation of extensive precursory activity prior to the 2005 swarms, and the interaction between seismically active regions during the swarms is consistent with static triggering with delays influenced by viscoelastic relaxation, hydraulic diffusion, and magma withdrawal and replenishment.