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Source model of the 2007 M_w 8.0 Pisco, Peru earthquake: Implications for seismogenic behavior of subduction megathrusts

Sladen, A. and Tavera, H. and Simons, M. and Avouac, J. P. and Konca, A. O. and Perfettini, H. and Audin, L. and Fielding, E. J. and Ortega, F. and Cavagnoud, R. (2010) Source model of the 2007 M_w 8.0 Pisco, Peru earthquake: Implications for seismogenic behavior of subduction megathrusts. Journal of Geophysical Research F, 115 . B02405. ISSN 0148-0227. doi:10.1029/2009JB006429.

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We use Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar, teleseismic body waves, tsunami waveforms recorded by tsunameters, field observations of coastal uplift, subsidence, and runup to develop and test a refined model of the spatiotemporal history of slip during the M_w 8.0 Pisco earthquake of 15 August 2007. Our preferred solution shows two distinct patches of high slip. One patch is located near the epicenter while another larger patch ruptured 60 km further south, at the latitude of the Paracas peninsula. Slip on the second patch started 60 s after slip initiated on the first patch. We observed a remarkable anticorrelation between the coseismic slip distribution and the aftershock distribution determined from the Peruvian seismic network. The proposed source model is compatible with regional runup measurements and open ocean tsunami records. From the latter data set, we identified the 12 min timing error of the tsunami forecast system as being due to a mislocation of the source, caused by the use of only one tsunameter located in a nonoptimal azimuth. The comparison of our source model with the tsunami observations validate that the rupture did not extend to the trench and confirms that the Pisco event is not a tsunami earthquake despite its low apparent rupture velocity (<1.5 km/s). We favor the interpretation that the earthquake consists of two subevents, each with a conventional rupture velocity (2–4 km/s). The delay between the two subevents might reflect the time for the second shock to nucleate or, alternatively, the time it took for afterslip to increase the stress level on the second asperity to a level necessary for static triggering. The source model predicts uplift offshore and subsidence on land with the pivot line following closely the coastline. This pattern is consistent with our observation of very small vertical displacement along the shoreline when we visited the epicentral area in the days following the event. This earthquake represents, to our knowledge, one of the best examples of a link between the geomorphology of the coastline and the pattern of surface deformation induced by large interplate ruptures.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Sladen, A.0000-0003-4126-0020
Simons, M.0000-0003-1412-6395
Avouac, J. P.0000-0002-3060-8442
Perfettini, H.0000-0001-6829-5472
Fielding, E. J.0000-0002-6648-8067
Additional Information:© 2010 American Geophysical Union. Received 3 March 2009; accepted 4 September 2009; published 9 February 2010. We thank two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments that helped to clarify several points. ERS and Envisat data were provided by ESA under Category 1-3194 (Matthew E. Pritchard) and AOE-668 (E. J. Fielding). ALOS data were provided by the Alaska Satellite Facility and JAXA. Funding for this research was provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation through the Tectonics Observatory. Part of this research was performed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Figures have been made using the Generic Mapping Tools (GMT) of Wessel and Smith [1998]. This is Caltech Tectonics Observatory contribution 111.
Group:Caltech Tectonics Observatory, Seismological Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Caltech Tectonics ObservatoryUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Pisco earthquake; source model; Seismology: Earthquake source observations; Geodesy and Gravity: Satellite; geodesy: results; Seismology: Subduction zones; Oceanography: Physical: Tsunamis and storm surges; Geographic Location: South America
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Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Caltech Tectonics Observatory111
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100303-095450402
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Official Citation:Sladen, A., H. Tavera, M. Simons, J. P. Avouac, A. O. Konca, H. Perfettini, L. Audin, E. J. Fielding, F. Ortega, and R. Cavagnoud (2010), Source model of the 2007 Mw 8.0 Pisco, Peru earthquake: Implications for seismogenic behavior of subduction megathrusts, J. Geophys. Res., 115, B02405, doi:10.1029/2009JB006429.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:17644
Deposited On:12 Mar 2010 18:53
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 23:37

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