Seismicity and active tectonics at Coloumbo Reef (Aegean Sea, Greece): Monitoring an active volcano at Santorini Volcanic Center using a temporary seismic network

Dimitriadis, I., Karagianni, E., Panagiotopoulos, D., Papazachos, C., Hatzidimitriou, P., Bohnhoff, M., Rische, M. and Meier, T. (2009) Seismicity and active tectonics at Coloumbo Reef (Aegean Sea, Greece): Monitoring an active volcano at Santorini Volcanic Center using a temporary seismic network Tectonophysics, 465 (1-4). pp. 136-149. DOI 10.1016/j.tecto.2008.11.005.

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The volcanic center of Santorini Island is the most active volcano of the southern Aegean volcanic arc. Α dense seismic array consisting of fourteen portable broadband seismological stations has been deployed in order to monitor and study the seismo-volcanic activity at the broader area of the Santorini volcanic center between March 2003 and September 2003. Additional recordings from a neighbouring larger scale temporary network (CYCNET) were also used for the relocation of more than 240 earthquakes recorded by both arrays. A double-difference relocation technique was used, in order to obtain optimal focal parameters for the best-constrained earthquakes.

The results indicate that the seismic activity of the Santorini volcanic center is strongly associated with the tectonic regime of the broader Southern Aegean Sea area as well as with the volcanic processes. The main cluster of the epicenters is located at the Coloumbo Reef, a submarine volcano of the volcanic system of Santorini Islands. A smaller cluster of events is located near the Anydros Islet, aligned in a NE–SW direction, running almost along the main tectonic feature of the area under study, the Santorini–Amorgos Fault Zone. In contrast, the main Santorini Island caldera is characterized by the almost complete absence of seismicity. This contrast is in very good agreement with recent volcanological and marine studies, with the Coloumbo volcanic center showing an intense high-temperature hydrothermal activity, in comparison to the corresponding low-level activity of the Santorini caldera.

The high-resolution hypocentral relocations present a clear view of the volcanic submarine structure at the Coloumbo Reef, showing that the main seismic activity is located within a very narrow vertical column, mainly at depths between 6 and 9 km. The focal mechanisms of the best-located events show that the cluster at the Coloumbo Reef is associated with the “Kameni–Coloumbo Fracture Zone”, which corresponds to the western termination of the major ENE–WSW Santorini–Amorgos Fault Zone. Stress–tensor inversion of the available fault plane solutions from Coloumbo Reef, as well as existing neotectonic fault information from NE Santorini (Coloumbo peninsula), suggests that the NE Santorini–Coloumbo faults belong to a single rupture system, with a ~ 30° rotation of the local stress field with respect to the NNW–SSE regional extension field of the southern Aegean Sea. The observed change of the fault plane solutions shows that local conditions at the Coloumbo submarine volcano area control the observed faulting pattern.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Santorini Island (Greece), Seismo-tectonic setting, Focal mechanisms, Double-difference earthquake relocation procedure, Stress field
Research affiliation: OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence > FO-R06
Kiel University
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence > FO-R09
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.tecto.2008.11.005
ISSN: 00401951
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2017 09:20
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2017 09:20

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