Tectonic processes in the Jan Mayen fracture zone based on earthquake occurrence and bathymetry

Sorensen, M.B.; Ottemoller, Lars; Havskov, J.; Atakan, K.; Hellevang, B.; Pedersen, R.B.. 2007 Tectonic processes in the Jan Mayen fracture zone based on earthquake occurrence and bathymetry. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 97 (3). 772-779.

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Jan Mayen is an active volcanic island situated along the mid-Atlantic Ridge north of Iceland. It is closely connected with the geodynamic processes associated with the interaction between the Jan Mayen Fracture Zone (JMFZ) and the slowly spreading Kolbeinsey and Mohns Ridges. Despite the significant tectonic activity expressed by the frequent occurrence of medium to large earthquakes, detailed correlation between individual events and the causative faults along the JMFZ has been lacking. Recently acquired detailed bathymetric data in the vicinity of Jan Mayen has allowed us to document such correlation for the first time. The earthquake of 14 April 2004 (Mw 6), which occurred along the JMFZ, was studied in detail and correlated with the bathymetry. Locations of aftershocks within the first 12 hours after the mainshock outline a 10-km-long fault plane. Interactions between various fault systems are demonstrated through locations of later aftershocks, which indicate that supposedly normal fault structures to the north of the ruptured fault, in the Jan Mayen Platform, have been reactivated. Correlation of the waveforms shows that events located on these structures are significantly different from activity at neighboring structures. Coulomb stress modeling gives an explanation to the locations of the aftershocks but cannot reveal any information about their mechanisms.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: BGS Programmes > Seismology and Geomagnetism
ISSN: 0037-1106
Additional Keywords: Iceland, Tectonics, Bathymetry
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Related URLs:
Date made live: 29 Jul 2009 13:33 +0 (UTC)

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