Along-arc heterogeneity in local seismicity across the Lesser Antilles subduction zone from a dense ocean-bottom seismometer network

Lidong Bie, Andreas Rietbrock, Stephen Hicks, Robert Allen, Jon Blundy, Valerie Clouard, Jenny Collier, Jon Davidson, Thomas Garth, Saskia Goes, Nick Harmon, Tim Henstock, Jeroen van Hunen, Mike Kendall, Frank Krüger, Lloyd Lynch, Colin Macpherson, Richard Robertson, Kate Rychert, Stephen TaitJamie Wilkinson, Marjorie Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
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The Lesser Antilles arc is only one of two subduction zones where slow-spreading Atlantic lithosphere is consumed. Slow-spreading may result in the Atlantic lithosphere being more pervasively and heterogeneously hydrated than fast-spreading Pacific lithosphere, thus affecting the flux of fluids into the deep mantle. Understanding the distribution of seismicity can help unravel the effect of fluids on geodynamic and seismogenic processes. However, a detailed view of local seismicity across the whole Lesser Antilles subduction zone is lacking. Using a temporary ocean-bottom seismic network we invert for hypocenters and 1D velocity model. A systematic search yields a 27 km thick crust, reflecting average arc and back-arc structures. We find abundant intraslab seismicity beneath Martinique and Dominica, which may relate to the subducted Marathon and/or Mercurius Fracture Zones. Pervasive seismicity in the cold mantle wedge corner and thrust seismicity deep on the subducting plate interface suggest an unusually wide megathrust seismogenic zone reaching ∼65 km depth. Our results provide an excellent framework for future understanding of regional seismic hazard in eastern Caribbean and the volatile cycling beneath the Lesser Antilles arc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-247
Number of pages11
JournalSeismological Research Letters
Issue number1
Early online date13 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

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