A seismic swarm and regional hydrothermal and hydrologic perturbations: The northern Endeavour segment, February 2005

Emilie E.E. Hooft, Hemalinee Patel, William Wilcock, Keir Becker, David Butterfield, Earl Davis, Robert Dziak, Katherine Inderbitzen, Marvin Lilley, Paul McGill, Douglas Toomey, Debra Stakes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The February 2005 swarm at the overlapping spreading center (OSC) on the northern end of the Endeavour segment is the first swarm on the Juan de Fuca Ridge recorded on a local seafloor seismic network. The swarm included several larger earthquakes and caused triggered seismicity and a hydrothermal response in the Endeavour vent fields as well as regional-scale hydrologic pressure perturbations. The spatial and temporal pattern of over 6000 earthquakes recorded during this seismic sequence is complex. Small-magnitude events dominate, and seismicity rates wax and wane, indicating a magmatic process. The main swarm initiates at the northern end of the Endeavour ridge. However, most of the moment release, including six strike-slip events, occurs in the southwest Endeavour Valley, where the swarm epicenters generally migrate south. The main swarm is contemporaneous with a hydrologic pressure response at four sealed seafloor boreholes, ∼25-105 km away. We infer that the seismic sequence is driven by a largely aseismic magma intrusion at the northern Endeavour axis. Resulting stress changes trigger slip on tectonic faults and possibly dike propagation at the opposing limb of the Endeavour OSC in the southwest Endeavour Valley, consistent with the eventual decapitation of the Endeavour by the West Valley segment. Furthermore, 2.5 days after the start of the main swarm, seismicity is triggered beneath the Endeavour vent fields, and temperature increases at a diffuse vent in the Mothra field. We infer that this delayed response is due to a hydrologic pressure pulse that diffuses away from the main magma intrusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberQ12015
JournalGeochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010


  • Endeavour ridge
  • earthquake swarm
  • hydrologic response
  • hydrothermal response
  • magma intrusion
  • overlapping spreading center

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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