Micrometre-scale deformation observations reveal fundamental controls on geological rifting

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Title: Micrometre-scale deformation observations reveal fundamental controls on geological rifting
Authors: Thun, JohannesLokmer, IvanBean, Christopher J.Eibl, Eva P. S.et al.
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/12468
Date: 9-Nov-2016
Online since: 2021-09-14T09:30:58Z
Abstract: Many of the world's largest volcanic eruptions are associated with geological rifting where major fractures open at the Earth's surface, yet fundamental controls on the near-surface response to the rifting process are lacking. New high resolution observations gleaned from seismometer data during the 2014 Bároarbunga basaltic dyke intrusion in Iceland allow us unprecedented access to the associated graben formation process on both sub-second and micrometre scales. We find that what appears as quasi steady-state near-surface rifting on lower resolution GPS observation comprises discrete staccato-like deformation steps as the upper crust unzips through repetitive low magnitude (M < 0) failures on fracture patches estimated between 300 m and 1200 m in size. Stress drops for these events are one to two orders of magnitude smaller than expected for tectonic earthquakes, demonstrating that the uppermost crust in the rift zone is exceptionally weak.
Funding Details: European Commission - Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)
Funding Details: Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI)
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Springer Nature
Journal: Scientific Reports
Volume: 6
Issue: 1
Copyright (published version): 2016 the Authors
Keywords: Central IcelandDike intrusionVolcanoEruptionWavesShear
DOI: 10.1038/srep36676
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
ISSN: 2045-2322
This item is made available under a Creative Commons License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ie/
Appears in Collections:Earth Sciences Research Collection

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