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Seismicity of the Hengill area, SW Iceland: Details revealed by catalog relocation and collapsing
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Geophysics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1402-8341
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Geophysics.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Geophysics. Reykjavic Univ, Sch Sci & Engn, Reykjavik, Iceland.
Iceland Meteorol Off, Reykjavik, Iceland.
2019 (English)In: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, ISSN 0377-0273, E-ISSN 1872-6097, Vol. 376, p. 15-26Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The spatial distribution of seismicity in the Hengill region, SW Iceland, is analyzed by relocation and collapsing. The Hengill region is a diffuse triple junction with volcano-tectonic activity associated with rifting, tectonic activity on a transecting transform and induced seismicity due to drilling and injection of fluid into geothermal fields. The Icelandic Meteorological Office has compiled 114,000 events over a 20-year period within an area of approximately 600 km(2). The events in their catalog are relocated by application of empirical travel-time tables using a non-linear location strategy. The relocations are then redone applying a Bayesian inversion using the catalog event density as a prior. Finally, they are collapsed using the same catalog density as an attractor. We show that this catalog processing reproduces details of the spatial pattern of seismicity that independently emerges from relative relocations of a small subset of the catalog events (swarm activity). In particular, the predominant faulting orientations are reproduced in different parts of the region and the depth distribution of events resembles that obtained by dense deployments in the area. Its depth extent varies between 5 and 7 km in the northern part of the region, where volcanic processes dominate, and between 7 and 8 km in the southern part, where tectonic deformation is predominant. Induced seismicity is shallower than adjacent natural seismicity. An intriguing lineation emerges in the lateral distribution of inferred depth to the brittle-ductile transition in the northern volcanic part of the region, which is parallel to the strike of the fissure swarms in the area. Associating this transition with an isotherm (650 degrees C), the Hengill volcanic system and its fissure swarm appear to be considerably cooler than the Hromundartindur system. This may relate to a recent intrusion into the latter or more efficient cooling in the Hengill fissure swarm due to deeper penetrating permeability. In both cases this has potential consequences for geothermal exploitation in the area.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 376, p. 15-26
Keywords [en]
Seismicity, Hengill, Relocation, Brittle-ductile transition, Earthquake catalog, Iceland
National Category
Geophysics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-383505DOI: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2019.03.008ISI: 000466257600002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-383505DiVA, id: diva2:1316414
Available from: 2019-05-17 Created: 2019-05-17 Last updated: 2019-05-17Bibliographically approved

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Li, Ka LokAbril, ClaudiaGudmundsson, Ólafur

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