Seismicity at the Kairei Hydrothermal Vent Field Near the Rodriguez Triple Junction in the Indian Ocean

Friday, 19 December 2014
Toshinori Sato1, Hiroyoshi Takata2, Yuki Imai1, Taiyu Mori1, Yui Noguchi1, Akihiro Kono1, Tomoaki Yamada3 and Masanao Shinohara3, (1)Faculty Science Chiba Univ, Chiba, Japan, (2)Chiba University, Chiba, Japan, (3)University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Japan
1. Introduction

In the first segment of the central Indian Ridge from the Rodriguez triple junction, the Kairei hydrothermal vent field exists and extrudes hydrothermal fluid with richer hydrogen content compared to other hydrothermal vents in the world. Around the Kairei hydrothermal field, serpentinized peridotite and troctolites, and gabbroic rocks were discovered. These deep-seated rocks exposed around the Kairei field may cause the enrichment of H2 in the Kairei fluids. At the Kairei field, a hydrogen-based subsurface microbial ecosystem and various hydrothermal vent macrofauna were found. In the “TAIGA” Project (Trans-crustal Advection and In situ reaction of Global sub-seafloor Aquifer), this area is a representative field of “TAIGA” of hydrogen. To investigate how the deep-seated rocks (originally situated at several kilometers below seafloor) are uplifted and exposed onto seafloor, and the hydrothermal fluids circulate in subsurface, we conducted a seismic refraction/reflection survey and seismicity observation with ocean bottom seismometers (OBSs). This presentation will show seismicity of the survey area.

2. Observation and results

We conducted a seismic survey around the Kairei hydrothermal field from January 27 to March 19 in 2013 using S/V Yokosuka of Jamstec. We used 21 OBSs.

From the 50 days seismicity observation, we found many micro earthquakes in this area. A swarm of micro earthquakes exists at a location about 1 km northwest of the Kairei field. The swarm has a NNW-SSE strike, parallel to the ridge axis. The depth of the swarm is very shallow (~4 km from seafloor). This swarm may be related to the hydrothermal activities of the Kairei field. At the first segment of the central Indian Ridge, many micro earthquakes occurred. The depth of these events is deeper than that of the swarm near the Kairei field.