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Aftershocks of large earthquakes tend to occur close to the main rupture zone, and can be used to constrain its dimensions. But following the 1992 Landers earthquake (magnitude M(w) = 7.3) in southern California, many aftershocks were reported in areas remote from the mainshock. Intriguingly, this remote seismicity occurred in small clusters near active volcanic and geothermal systems. For one of these clusters (Long Valley, about 400 km from the Landers earthquake), crustal deformation associated with the seismic activity was also monitored. Here we argue that advective overpressure provides a viable mechanism for remote seismicity triggered by the Landers earthquake. Both the deformation and seismicity data are...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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THE noble-gas elemental and isotopic composition in the Earth is significantly different from that of the present atmosphere, and provides an important clue to the origin and history of the Earth and its atmosphere. Possible candidates for the noble-gas composition of the primordial Earth include a solar-like component, a planetary-like component (as observed in primitive meteorites) and a component similar in composition to the present atmosphere. In an attempt to identify the contributions of such components, we have measured isotope ratios of helium and neon in fresh basaltic glasses dredged from Loihi seamount and the East Rift Zone of Kilauea1-3. We find a systematic enrichment in 20Ne and 21Ne relative to...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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THE Cascadia subduction zone, which extends along the northern Pacific coast of North America, might produce earthquakes of magnitude 8 or 9 ('great' earthquakes) even though it has not done so during the past 200 years of European observation 1-7. Much of the evidence for past Cascadia earthquakes comes from former meadows and forests that became tidal mudflats owing to abrupt tectonic subsidence in the past 5,000 years2,3,6,7. If due to a great earthquake, such subsidence should have extended along more than 100 km of the coast2. Here we investigate the extent of coastal subsidence that might have been caused by a single earthquake, through high-precision radiocarbon dating of coastal trees that abruptly subsided...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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The large-scale migration of fluids through the continental crust has been well documented, but there is no consensus regarding the timing of fluid migration relative to erogenic episodes, or rates of crustal dewatering1. Here we present 40Ar/39Ar dates for muscovites from quartz veins along a major shear zone in southeast Alaska, which show that the veins were emplaced in the early Eocene, during the late stages of orogenic deformation. Hydrothermal activity took place for only about 1 Myr and along a distance of at least 200 km. The fluids were generated by metamorphic reactions in subducted crust along the North American plate margin, and were apparently trapped in the crust by the low permeabilities accompanying...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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Laboratory experiments have established that many of the materials comprising the Earth are strongly anisotropic in terms of seismic-wave speeds. Observations of azimuthal and radial anisotropy in the upper mantle are attributed to the lattice-preferred orientation of olivine caused by the shear strains associated with deformation, and provide some of the most direct evidence for deformation and flow within the Earths interior. Although observations of crustal radial anisotropy would improve our understanding of crustal deformation and flow patterns resulting from tectonic processes, large-scale observations have been limited to regions of particularly thick crust. Here we show that observations from ambient noise...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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A box core taken at 11??50.3??? N and 137??28.2??? W in the Central Pacific manganese nodule province was studied to determine the pattern of diatom and radiolarian preservation with depth in the sediment, as well as to observe downcore variations in clay mineralogy. We observed marked deterioration of the siliceous microfossils within the upper 30 cm of this sediment; over this depth interval the Quaternary diatoms disappear first, followed deeper downcore by the dissolution of Quaternary radiolarians. Tertiary microfossils in general were the most corrosion resistant, and the residual microfossil assemblage in the lower part of the core consisted of fragmented, robust Tertiary forms. Consequently, the apparent...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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Great earthquakes (having seismic magnitudes of at least 8) usually involve abrupt sliding of rock masses at a boundary between tectonic plates. Such interplate ruptures produce dynamic and static stress changes that can activate nearby intraplate aftershocks, as is commonly observed in the trench-slope region seaward of a great subduction zone thrust event1-4. The earthquake sequence addressed here involves a rare instance in which a great trench-slope intraplate earthquake triggered extensive interplate faulting, reversing the typical pattern and broadly expanding the seismic and tsunami hazard. On 29 September 2009, within two minutes of the initiation of a normal faulting event with moment magnitude 8.1 in the...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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Hydrothermal circulation at the crests of mid-ocean ridges plays an important role in transferring heat from the interior of the Earth. A consequence of this hydrothermal circulation is the formation of metallic ore bodies known as volcanic-associated massive sulphide deposits. Such deposits, preserved on land, were important sources of copper for ancient civilizations and continue to provide a significant source of base metals (for example, copper and zinc). Here we present results from Ocean Drilling Program Leg 169, which drilled through a massive sulphide deposit on the northern Juan de Fuca spreading centre and penetrated the hydrothermal feeder zone through which the metal-rich fluids reached the sea floor....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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Mars is divided into two fundamentally different geological provinces of approximately hemispherical extent1-3. The more southerly province is heavily cratered, contains relatively old geological units, and superficially resembles the lunar and mercurian highlands. The northern province is relatively lightly cratered and contains younger geological units, including extensive plains, volcanic edifices, and volcanic calderas. Except for the Tharsis and Elysium regions and other large volcanoes, most of the younger, northern province consists of lowlands, which lie an average of 3 km below the highlands. Lowlands occupy about one-third of Mars. They are separated from the highlands by a distinct scarp or by a sloping...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature