3 years ago

Tidal triggering of microearthquakes over an eruption cycle at 9°50'N East Pacific Rise

DelWayne R. Bohnenstiehl, Yen Joe Tan, Maya Tolstoy, Felix Waldhauser
Studies have found that earthquake timing often correlates with tides at mid-ocean ridges and some terrestrial settings. Studies have also suggested that tidal triggering may preferentially happen when a region is critically stressed, making it a potential tool to forecast earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. We examine tidal triggering of ∼100,000 microearthquakes near 9°50'N East Pacific Rise recorded between October 2003 and January 2007, which encompasses an eruption in January 2006. This allows us to look at how tidal triggering signal varies over an eruption cycle to examine its utility as a forecasting tool. We find that tidal triggering signal is strong but does not vary systematically in the 2+ years leading up to the eruption. However, tidal triggering signal disappears immediately post-eruption. Our findings suggest that tidal triggering variation may not be useful for forecasting mid-ocean ridge eruptions over a 2+ years timescale but might be useful over a longer timescale.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/2017GL076497

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