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Stress loading from viscous flow in the lower crust and triggering of aftershocks following the 1994 Northridge California, earthquake

Deng, Jishu and Hudnut, Kenneth and Gurnis, Michael and Hauksson, Egill (1999) Stress loading from viscous flow in the lower crust and triggering of aftershocks following the 1994 Northridge California, earthquake. Geophysical Research Letters, 26 (21). pp. 3209-3212. ISSN 0094-8276. doi:10.1029/1999GL010496.

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Following the M_w 6.7 Northridge earthquake, significant postseismic displacements were resolved with GPS. Using a three-dimensional viscoelastic model, we suggest that this deformation is mainly driven by viscous flow in the lower crust. Such flow can transfer stress to the upper crust and load the rupture zone of the main shock at a decaying rate. Most aftershocks within the rupture zone, especially those that occurred after the first several weeks of the main shock, may have been triggered by continuous stress loading from viscous flow. The long-term decay time of aftershocks (about 2 years) approximately matches the decay of viscoelastic loading, and thus is controlled by the viscosity of the lower crust. Our model provides a physical interpretation of the observed correlation between aftershock decay rate and surface heat flow.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle
Hudnut, Kenneth0000-0002-3168-4797
Gurnis, Michael0000-0003-1704-597X
Hauksson, Egill0000-0002-6834-5051
Additional Information:© 1999 by the American Geophysical Union. Received April 14, 1999; revised June 14, 1999; accepted June 17, 1999. This research was supported by the Southern California Earthquake Center. SCEC contribution 465. This also represents contribution number 8622 of the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology.
Group:Seismological Laboratory, Seismological Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC)UNSPECIFIED
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Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC)465
Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences8622
Issue or Number:21
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130212-082104331
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:36863
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:23 Feb 2013 00:11
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:25

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