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Interseismic loading of subduction megathrust drives long term uplift in northern Chile

Jolivet, R. and Simons, M. and Duputel, Z. and Olive, J.-A. and Bhat, H. S. and Bletery, Q. (2020) Interseismic loading of subduction megathrust drives long term uplift in northern Chile. Geophysical Research Letters, 47 (8). Art. No. e2019GL085377. ISSN 0094-8276. doi:10.1029/2019gl085377.

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Large earthquakes are the product of elastic stress that has accumulated over decades to centuries along segments of active faults. Assuming an elastic crust, one can roughly estimate the location and rate of accumulation of elastic stress. However, this general framework does not account for inelastic, irrecoverable deformation, which results in large scale topography. We do not know over which part of the earthquake cycle such deformation occurs. Using InSAR and GNSS measurements, we report on a potential correlation between long‐term, inelastic and short‐term, interseismic vertical rates in northern Chile. Approximately 4 to 8% of the geodetically‐derived interseismic vertical rates translates into permanent deformation, suggesting topography of the forearc builds up during the interseismic period. This observation provides a quantitative basis for an improved understanding of the interplay between short‐term and long‐term dynamics along convergent plate boundaries.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Jolivet, R.0000-0002-9896-3651
Simons, M.0000-0003-1412-6395
Duputel, Z.0000-0002-8809-451X
Olive, J.-A.0000-0001-6899-592X
Bhat, H. S.0000-0003-0361-1854
Bletery, Q.0000-0002-9796-5487
Additional Information:© 2020 American Geophysical Union. Received 11 SEP 2019; Accepted 2 APR 2020; Accepted article online 9 APR 2020. This project has received funding from NASA (Grant NNX16AK58G). This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (Grant Agreements 758210 and 805256). This work was granted access to the HPC resources of MesoPSL financed by the Region Ile de France and the project Equip@Meso (reference ANR‐10‐EQPX‐29‐01) of the program Investissements d'Avenir supervised by the Agence Nationale pour la Recherche. Envisat raw data have been obtained upon request via the EOLISA tool. We thank the European Space Agency for the acquisition and the distribution of these data. ERA‐Interim products are directly available for download at ECMWF ( The authors are grateful for enlightening discussions with J.‐P. Avouac, N. Cubas, L. Dal Zilio, and N. Brantut. The authors thank the editor and both an anonymous reviewer and R. Bürgmann for their constructive comments that helped craft a better manuscript.
Group:Seismological Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
European Research Council (ERC)758210
European Research Council (ERC)805256
Agence Nationale pour la Recherche (ANR)ANR-10-EQPX-29-01
Subject Keywords:Subduction zone; InSAR; GNSS; Seismic cycle; Inelastic deformation; Topography
Issue or Number:8
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200410-120046395
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:R., Jolivet, Simons, M., Duputel, Z., Olive, J.‐A., Bhat, H. S., & Bletery, Q. (2020). Interseismic loading of subduction megathrust drives long‐term uplift in Northern Chile. Geophysical Research Letters, 47, e2019GL085377.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:102487
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:10 Apr 2020 19:20
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:12

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