This paper discusses a reconnaissance survey of the microearthquake activity in the northwest portion of the Ethiopian rift. The overall activity was very low; only five local microearthquakes were recorded in over 800 hours of recording in 1969. It is suggested that this low activity could be indicative of a process in which deformation occurs episodically with a time constant at least longer than six weeks (the duration of the survey) and/or aseismically.

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