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Rupture across arc segment and plate boundaries in the 1 April 2007 Solomons earthquake

Taylor, Frederick W. and Briggs, Richard W. and Frohlich, Cliff and Brown, Abel and Hornbach, Matt and Papabatu, Alison K. and Meltzner, Aron J. and Billy, Douglas (2008) Rupture across arc segment and plate boundaries in the 1 April 2007 Solomons earthquake. Nature Geoscience, 1 (4). pp. 253-257. ISSN 1752-0894. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20101112-140149837

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Abstract

The largest earthquakes are generated in subduction zones, and the earthquake rupture typically extends for hundreds of kilometres along a single subducting plate. These ruptures often begin or end at structural boundaries on the overriding plate that are associated with the subduction of prominent bathymetric features of the downgoing plate. Here, we determine uplift and subsidence along shorelines for the 1 April 2007 moment magnitude M_W 8.1 earthquake in the western Solomon Islands, using coral microatolls which provide precise measurements of vertical motions in locations where instrumental data are unavailable. We demonstrate that the 2007 earthquake ruptured across the subducting Simbo ridge transform and thus broke through a triple junction where the Australian and Woodlark plates subduct beneath the overriding Pacific plate. Previously, no known major megathrust rupture has involved two subducting plates. We conclude that this event illustrates the uncertainties of predicting the segmentation of subduction zone rupture on the basis of structural discontinuities.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ngeo159 DOIUNSPECIFIED
http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v1/n4/full/ngeo159.htmlPublisherUNSPECIFIED
Additional Information:© 2008 Nature Publishing Group. Published online: 30 March 2008. Field expenses for this project were supported by a Rapid Response grant from the Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin and by a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to the Tectonics Observatory at the California Institute of Technology. This is UTIG Contribution 1939 and Caltech Tectonics Observatory Contribution 79. Author contributions: F.W.T., R.B. and C.F. are responsible for tectonic and seismological interpretations; F.W.T., R.B., A.B., A.K.P. and D.B. carried out the field investigations; M.H. and C.F. developed the tsunami model; A.J.M. provided satellite-derived observations of vertical motions and tide model calculations.
Group:Caltech Tectonics Observatory
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
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Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Caltech Tectonics Observatory79
University of Texas Institute for Geophysics1939
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20101112-140149837
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20101112-140149837
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:20779
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:17 Nov 2010 22:10
Last Modified:26 Dec 2012 12:37

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