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Supershear rupture in a M_w 6.7 aftershock of the 2013 Sea of Okhotsk earthquake

Zhan, Zhongwen and Helmberger, Donald V. and Kanamori, Hiroo and Shearer, Peter M. (2014) Supershear rupture in a M_w 6.7 aftershock of the 2013 Sea of Okhotsk earthquake. Science, 345 (6193). pp. 204-207. ISSN 0036-8075. doi:10.1126/science.1252717.

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Earthquake rupture speeds exceeding the shear-wave velocity have been reported for several shallow strike-slip events. Whether supershear rupture also can occur in deep earthquakes is unclear, because of their enigmatic faulting mechanism. Using empirical Green's functions in both regional and teleseismic waveforms, we observed supershear rupture during the 2013 moment magnitude (M_w) 6.7 deep earthquake beneath the Sea of Okhotsk, an aftershock of the large deep earthquake (Mw 8.3). The M_w 6.7 event ruptured downward along a steeply dipping fault plane at an average speed of 8 kilometers per second, suggesting efficient seismic energy generation. Comparing it to the highly dissipative 1994 M_w 8.3 Bolivia earthquake, the two events represent end members of deep earthquakes in terms of energy partitioning and imply that there is more than one rupture mechanism for deep earthquakes.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription ItemSupplementary Materials
Zhan, Zhongwen0000-0002-5586-2607
Kanamori, Hiroo0000-0001-8219-9428
Shearer, Peter M.0000-0002-2992-7630
Alternate Title:Supershear rupture in a Mw 6.7 aftershock of the 2013 Sea of Okhotsk earthquake
Additional Information:© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. 27 February 2014; accepted 2 June 2014. We thank two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments. The Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) provided the seismic data. This work was supported by NSF (grants EAR-1142020 and EAR-1111111). All data used are available from the IRIS data center at
Group:Seismological Laboratory, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Issue or Number:6193
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140815-120059262
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Official Citation:Supershear rupture in a Mw 6.7 aftershock of the 2013 Sea of Okhotsk earthquake Zhongwen Zhan, Donald V. Helmberger, Hiroo Kanamori, and Peter M. Shearer Science 11 July 2014: 345 (6193), 204-207. [DOI:10.1126/science.1252717]
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:48617
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:19 Aug 2014 23:06
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 18:33

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