Research ArticleGEOPHYSICS

Seismic signature of active intrusions in mountain chains

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Advances  03 Jan 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 1, e1701825
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1701825

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text


Intrusions are a ubiquitous component of mountain chains and testify to the emplacement of magma at depth. Understanding the emplacement and growth mechanisms of intrusions, such as diapiric or dike-like ascent, is critical to constrain the evolution and structure of the crust. Petrological and geological data allow us to reconstruct magma pathways and long-term magma differentiation and assembly processes. However, our ability to detect and reconstruct the short-term dynamics related to active intrusive episodes in mountain chains is embryonic, lacking recognized geophysical signals. We analyze an anomalously deep seismic sequence (maximum magnitude 5) characterized by low-frequency bursts of earthquakes that occurred in 2013 in the Apennine chain in Italy. We provide seismic evidences of fluid involvement in the earthquake nucleation process and identify a thermal anomaly in aquifers where CO2 of magmatic origin dissolves. We show that the intrusion of dike-like bodies in mountain chains may trigger earthquakes with magnitudes that may be relevant to seismic hazard assessment. These findings provide a new perspective on the emplacement mechanisms of intrusive bodies and the interpretation of the seismicity in mountain chains.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

View Full Text