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Authors: Mazzarini, F.* 
Keir, D.* 
Isola, I.* 
Title: Spatial relationship between earthquakes and volcanic vents in the central-northern Main Ethiopian Rift
Issue Date: 2013
Series/Report no.: /262 (2013)
DOI: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2013.05.007
Keywords: Volcanic vent Earthquake Spatial distribution Self-similar clustering Ethiopian Rift
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.07. Tectonophysics::04.07.02. Geodynamics 
Abstract: During the breakup of continents extension is commonly accommodated by connected networks of fluid filled fractures (dykes) and by faults. Despite the importance of these two extension mechanisms their spatial relationship in three dimensions is poorly understood primarily because it is difficult to quantify the subsur- face distribution of faulting and intrusion. In order to address this problem, we conduct a quantitative anal- ysis of the spatial distribution and clustering of earthquakes and volcanic vents in the Main Ethiopian Rift in East Africa in order to understand how extension by faulting and intrusion is distributed throughout the vol- canic rift. We use fractal analysis of earthquake epicentres in order to infer the 2D characteristics of the sub- surface fault network, and directly test our model results against the 3D distribution of earthquake hypocentres. Our results show that fractal analysis of these features is a reliable means to characterise the 3D properties of the fault network. In addition, the strong similarity between the properties of the fault net- work derived from earthquakes and properties of the magma-filled fracture network derived from fractal analysis of volcanic vents strongly suggests that these are genetically linked. We then explore their spatial link using computation of earthquake and vent density, which shows that the zone of seismicity is generally around 20–30-km-wide, while the zone of vents is narrower and centred within the zone of seismicity. This spatial relationship suggests that the faults, which form rift axial grabens, are induced above a narrower and central zone of diking. We also demonstrate significant along-rift variation in degree of magmatism and faulting with regions of increased degree of diking inferred from a higher cone density characterised by reduced degree of faulting.
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