Date: November 5, 1982
Creator: Lange, Arthur L. & Avramenko, Walter
Description: Microearthquakes, defined as shocks having magnitudes less than 4, are commonly recorded in the vicinity of geothermal manifestations and volcanism. They have been mapped from producing geothermal fields as well as those not yet developed, in such places as Iceland, El Salvador, Japan, Kenya and the US. Microearthquakes have been recorded at several geothermal sites in the Imperial Valley and Coso Hot Springs, California; Kilbourne Hole, New Mexico; Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming; and The Geysers, California, where there is debate over whether or not the seismicity is induced by steam production. Seismicity occurs around active volcanoes, but appears reduced directly over zones of high temperature or magma, where the depth of the brittle fracture zone is shallow, as over Yellowstone caldera. In areas of active hydrothermalism, regional stress is likely to be relieved by low-level seismicity rather than occasional large ruptures, owing to the high temperatures, presence of fluids, and crustal weakening due to alteration and fracturing. Active faulting maintains the permeability of the system, which in its absence, might otherwise seal. on the microscopic scale, pore-fluid pressures rise as a result of heating, resulting in the decrease of effective pressure at the pore-mineral boundary. When this effective pressure becomes ...
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