Microseismicity of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at 7°S-8°15′S and at the Logatchev Massif oceanic core complex at 14°40′N- 14°50′N

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  • GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre of Marine Research


Lithospheric formation at slow spreading rates is heterogeneous with multiple modalities, favoring symmetric spreading where magmatism dominates or core complex and inside corner high formation where tectonics dominate. We report microseismicity from three deployments of seismic networks at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR). Two networks surveyed the MAR near 7°S in the vicinity of the Ascension transform fault. Three inside corner high settings were investigated. However, they remained seismically largely inactive and major seismic activity occurred along the center of the median valley. In contrast, at the Logatchev Massif core complex at 14°45′N seismicity was sparse within the center of the median valley but concentrated along the eastern rift mountains just west of the serpentine hosted Logatchev hydrothermal vent field. To the north and south of the massif, however, seismic activity occurred along the ridge axis, emphasizing the asymmetry of seismicity at the Logatchev segment. Focal mechanisms indicated a large number of reverse faulting events occurring in the vicinity of the vent field at 3-5 km depth, which we interpret to reflect volume expansion accompanying serpentinization. At shallower depth of 2-4 km, some earthquakes in the vicinity of the vent field showed normal faulting behavior, suggesting that normal faults facilitates hydrothermal circulation feeding the vent field. Further, a second set of cross-cutting faults occurred, indicating that the surface location of the field is controlled by local fault systems.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3532-3554
Number of pages23
JournalGeochemistry Geophysics Geosystems
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2013


  • core complexes, earthquakes, hydrothermalism, mid-ocean ridges, serpentinization

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