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

Bie, L. and Rietbrock, A. and Hicks, S. and Allen, R. and Blundy, J. and Clouard, V. and Collier, J. and Davidson, J. and Garth, T. and Goes, S. and Harmon, N. and Henstock, T. and Van Hunen, J. and Kendall, M. and Krüger, F. and Lynch, L. and MacPherson, C. and Robertson, R. and Rychert, K. and Tait, S. and Wilkinson, J. and Wilson, M. (2020) 'Along arc heterogeneity in local seismicity across the Lesser Antilles subduction zone from a dense ocean-bottom seismometer network.', Seismological research letters., 9 (1). pp. 237-247.


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.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Date accepted:26 September 2016
Date deposited:14 November 2019
Date of first online publication:13 November 2019
Date first made open access:13 November 2020

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