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Volcanic Origin of a Long-Lived Swarm in the Central Bransfield Basin, Antarctica

Abstract : Understanding the extensional processes in tectonic context at the transition from continental to oceanic spreading is fundamental to obtain new insights about formations of new oceans. To that scope, we study a large and long-lived earthquake swarm occurring in 2020-2021 in a back-arc rift (the Bransfield Basin) south of the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. We make use of one local seismological station to detect more than 36,000 small earthquakes, occurring from August 2020 to June 2021. Together with the occurrence of earthquakes, we observe a significant, geodetic deformation at a nearby GPS station. By joint interpretation of b-value, spatiotemporal evolution of seismicity and geodetic deformation, we infer a volcanic origin for this swarm that takes place close to the ridge axis. Our study suggests that beyond the 7 mm/yr deformation reported at the Bransfield Basin ridge, transient deformation episodes localized at the ridge axial volcanic structure also modulate the extension.
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Submitted on : Thursday, March 3, 2022 - 10:24:43 AM
Last modification on : Monday, May 16, 2022 - 1:50:04 PM

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P. Poli, L. Cabrera, M. C. Flores, J. C. Báez, J. B. Ammirati, et al.. Volcanic Origin of a Long-Lived Swarm in the Central Bransfield Basin, Antarctica. Geophysical Research Letters, American Geophysical Union, 2022, 49, p. 165-189. ⟨10.1029/2021GL095447⟩. ⟨insu-03595133⟩

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