The slow spreading mid-Indian Ocean ridge system containing the Carlsberg, Central and Southwest Indian ridges is seismically very active. In the present study, a detailed analysis has been carried out of the data of earthquake sources along different ridge segments in order to investigate the spatial and temporal clustering patterns and to evaluate crustal processes related to the swarm occurrences along these ridges. The spatial and temporal clustering pattern of the recent earthquakes (1980–1990) pertaining to nine major spreading segments and eight fracture zones suggests that the events cluster in greater proportion along the spreading segments than along the fracture zones.
We performed a systematic search of earthquake catalogue during the period 1964–1990 by examining the spatio-temporal hypocentral clusters in order to identify the swarm occurrences along these ridges. The search included eighteen prominent sequences, of which, thirteen were earthquake swarms. Except two, all other swarms were found to be occurring mainly on the spreading segments. The maximum magnitude observed in these swarms is mb = 5.4 and have many events predominantly showing normal faulting mechanisms. The spatial disposition and temporal activity of the events in swarms is much similar to the foreshock-mainshock-aftershock sequences observed along the spreading rift valley zones. These characteristics help us to support that swarms along the slow spreading mid-Indian Ocean ridges are the result of extensional tectonic activity, leading to the development of the median valley topography, a mechanism similar to that proposed by Bergman and Solomon (1990) for the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
Volume 129, 2020
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