The world’s strongest known spreading-related seismicity swarm occurred in 1999 in a segment of the Gakkel Ridge located at 85°E as a consequence of an effusive-explosive submarine volcanic eruption. The data of a seismic network deployed on ice floes were used to locate hundreds of local earthquakes down to ∼25 km depth and to build a seismic tomography model under the volcanic area. Here we show the seismicity and the distribution of seismic velocities together with the 3D magmatic-thermomechanical numerical model, which demonstrate how a magma reservoir under the Gakkel Ridge may form, rise and trigger volcanic eruptions in the rift valley. The ultraslow spreading rates with low mantle potential temperatures appear to be a critical factor in the production of volatile-rich, low-degree mantle melts that are focused toward the magma reservoirs within narrow magmatic sections. The degassing of these melts is the main cause of the explosive submarine eruptions.
- 1.03 PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND ASTRONOMY
- 1.04 CHEMICAL SCIENCES
- 1.05 EARTH AND RELATED ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES