A Caltech Library Service

Rupture and variable coupling behavior of the Mentawai segment of the Sunda megathrust during the supercycle culmination of 1797 to 1833

Philibosian, Belle and Sieh, Kerry and Avouac, Jean-Philippe and Natawidjaja, Danny H. and Chiang, Hong-Wei and Wu, Chung-Che and Perfettini, Hugo and Shen, Chuan-Chou and Daryono, Mudrik R. and Suwargadi, Bambang W. (2014) Rupture and variable coupling behavior of the Mentawai segment of the Sunda megathrust during the supercycle culmination of 1797 to 1833. Journal of Geophysical Research. Solid Earth, 119 (9). pp. 7258-7287. ISSN 2169-9313. doi:10.1002/2014JB011200.

PDF - Published Version
Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

PDF (Table S1 and Figures S1-S37) - Supplemental Material
Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

[img] MS Word (Readme) - Supplemental Material
Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


We refer to periods of subduction strain accumulation beneath the Mentawai Islands, Sumatra, as “supercycles,” because each culminates in a series of partial ruptures of the megathrust in its final decades. The finale of the previous supercycle comprised two giant earthquakes in 1797 and 1833 and whatever happened in between. This behavior between two great ruptures has implications for how the megathrust will behave between its more recent partial failure, during the M_w 8.4 earthquake of 2007, and subsequent large ruptures. We synthesize previously published coral microatoll records and a large new coral data set to constrain not only these two giant ruptures but also the intervening interseismic megathrust behavior. We present detailed maps of coseismic uplift during the two earthquakes and of interseismic deformation during the periods 1755–1833 and 1950–2000, as well as models of the corresponding slip and coupling on the underlying megathrust. The large magnitudes we derive (M_w 8.6–8.8 for 1797 and M_w 8.8–8.9 for 1833) confirm that the 2007 earthquakes released only a fraction of the moment released during the previous rupture sequence. Whereas megathrust behavior leading up to the 1797 and 2007 earthquakes was similar and comparatively simple, behavior between 1797 and 1833 was markedly different and more complex: several patches of the megathrust became weakly coupled following the 1797 earthquake. We conclude that while major earthquakes generally do not involve rupture of the entire Mentawai segment, they may significantly change the state of coupling on the megathrust for decades to follow, influencing the progression of subsequent ruptures.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Information
Philibosian, Belle0000-0003-3138-4716
Sieh, Kerry0000-0002-7311-2447
Avouac, Jean-Philippe0000-0002-3060-8442
Perfettini, Hugo0000-0001-6829-5472
Additional Information:© 2014 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made. Received 16 APR 2014; Accepted 28 JUL 2014; Accepted article online 7 AUG 2014; Published online 2 SEP 2014. All data used in this paper are included in the main text or supporting information. This project was supported by the National Science Foundation grants 0208508, 0530899, 0538333, and 0809223 to K. S.; by the Sumatran Paleoseismology grant M58B50074.706022; by the National Research Foundation Singapore and the Singapore Ministry of Education under the Research Centres of Excellence initiative through the Earth Observatory of Singapore; by the Research Center for Geotechnology at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI); by the Caltech Tectonics Observatory; and by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Also, the Japanese documentary agency NHK funded a special one- week final field expedition in 2012. U-Th dating was supported by the Taiwan ROC MOST and NTU grants 101-2116-M-002-009, 102-2116-M-002-016, 103-2119-M-002-022, and 101R7625 to C.-C. S. We thank Dudi Prayudi, Imam Suprihanto, John Galetzka, and all the crew members of the K.M. Andalas for field support, Ke (Coco) Lin for assistance with U-Th dating at the HISPEC Laboratory at the National Taiwan University, and Aron Meltzner, Emma Hill, Ashar M. Lubis, Lujia Feng, Louisa Tsang, Qiang Qiu, Joann Stock, Mark Simons, Paul Asimow, Marion Thomas, Thomas Ader, Andrew Kositsky, Kelly Wiseman, and Jeff Genrich for helpful discussions. This manuscript was improved thanks to reviews by Ya-Ju Hsu and an anonymous reviewer. This is Earth Observatory of Singapore contribution 70 and Caltech Tectonics Observatory contribution 259.
Group:Caltech Tectonics Observatory, Seismological Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Sumatran PaleoseismologyM58B50074.706022
National Research Foundation (Singapore)UNSPECIFIED
Ministry of Education (Singapore)UNSPECIFIED
Earth Observatory of SingaporeUNSPECIFIED
Indonesian Institute of Sciences Research Center for GeotechnologyUNSPECIFIED
Caltech Tectonics ObservatoryUNSPECIFIED
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Japanese documentary agency NHKUNSPECIFIED
Ministry of Science and Technology (Taipei)UNSPECIFIED
Nanyang Technological University101-2116-M-002-009
Nanyang Technological University102-2116-M-002-016
Nanyang Technological University103-2119-M-002-022
Nanyang Technological University101R7625
Subject Keywords:seismic cycle; subduction zone; megathrust; coral microatolls; fault coupling; earthquake
Other Numbering System:
Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Caltech Tectonics Observatory259
Earth Observatory of Singapore70
Issue or Number:9
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20141202-105757792
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Philibosian, B., K. Sieh, J.-P. Avouac, D. H. Natawidjaja, H.-W. Chiang, C.-C. Wu, H. Perfettini, C.-C. Shen, M. R. Daryono, and B. W. Suwargadi (2014), Rupture and variable coupling behavior of the Mentawai segment of the Sunda megathrust during the supercycle culmination of 1797 to 1833, J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth, 119, 7258–7287, doi:10.1002/2014JB011200
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:52265
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:02 Dec 2014 19:49
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 19:23

Repository Staff Only: item control page