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Volume 5, issue 2
Solid Earth, 5, 873–882, 2014
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-5-873-2014
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Solid Earth, 5, 873–882, 2014
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-5-873-2014
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 27 Aug 2014

Research article | 27 Aug 2014

Evidence of magma activation beneath the Harrat Lunayyir basaltic field (Saudi Arabia) from attenuation tomography

I. Koulakov1,2, S. El Khrepy3,4, N. Al-Arifi3, I. Sychev1, and P. Kuznetsov1 I. Koulakov et al.
  • 1Trofimuk Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics SB RAS, Prospekt Koptyuga, 3, 630090, Novosibirsk, Russia
  • 2Novosibirsk State University, Pirogova 2, 630090, Novosibirsk, Russia
  • 3King Saud University, P.O. Box 2455, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
  • 4National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics, NRIAG, 11421, Helwan, Egypt

Abstract. We present a seismic attenuation model for the crust beneath the Cenozoic basaltic field of Harrat Lunayyir (western Saudi Arabia), where a strong seismic swarm occurred in 2009. The tomography inversion uses the envelope shape of the S wave seismograms from over 300 strong events (M < 3.5). The resulting attenuation structures appear to be consistent with the distribution of seismic velocities. The obtained 3-D attenuation model distinguishes the low-attenuation zones down to 5 km depth corresponding to the rigid basaltic cover. At greater depths, we detect a high-attenuation anomaly coinciding with the main seismicity cluster. We propose that this zone corresponds to the upper part of the conduit area ascending from deeper magma sources. According to the distributions of local events, fluids and melts from this conduit appear to reach a depth of ∼2 km, but were not able to reach the surface and cause the eruption in 2009.

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