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A Sea-Floor Spreading Event Captured by Seismometers
Science (2006)
  • M. Tolstoy
  • Brooke Love, Western Washington University
  • J. P. Cowen
  • E. T. Baker
  • D. J. Fornari
  • K. H. Rubin
  • T. M. Shank
  • K. Waldhauser
  • D. R. Bohnenstiehl
  • D. W. Forsyth
  • R. C. Holmes
  • M. R. Perfit, University of Florida
  • R. T. Weekly
  • S. A. Soule
  • B. Glazer
Two-thirds of Earth's surface is formed at mid-ocean ridges, yet sea-floor spreading events are poorly understood because they occur far beneath the ocean surface. At 9°50'N on the East Pacific Rise, ocean-bottom seismometers recently recorded the microearthquake character of a mid-ocean ridge eruption, including precursory activity. A gradual ramp-up in activity rates since seismic monitoring began at this site in October 2003 suggests that eruptions may be forecast in the fast-spreading environment. The pattern culminates in an intense but brief (∼6-hour) inferred diking event on 22 January 2006, followed by rapid tapering to markedly decreased levels of seismicity.
  • East Pacific Rise,
  • Ocean-bottom seismometers,
  • Mid-ocean ridge eruption
Publication Date
December 22, 2006
DOI: 10.1126/science.1133950
Publisher Statement
Copyright 2006, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Citation Information
M. Tolstoy, Brooke Love, J. P. Cowen, E. T. Baker, et al.. "A Sea-Floor Spreading Event Captured by Seismometers" Science Vol. 314 Iss. 5807 (2006)
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