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Rupture Depth-Varying Seismicity Patterns for Major and Great (M_W ≥ 7.0) Megathrust Earthquakes

Wetzler, Nadav and Lay, Thorne and Brodsky, Emily E. and Kanamori, Hiroo (2017) Rupture Depth-Varying Seismicity Patterns for Major and Great (M_W ≥ 7.0) Megathrust Earthquakes. Geophysical Research Letters, 44 (19). pp. 9663-9671. ISSN 0094-8276. doi:10.1002/2017GL074573.

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Large earthquakes on subduction zone plate boundary megathrusts result from intervals of strain accumulation and release. The mechanism diversity and spatial distribution of moderate-size aftershocks is influenced by the mainshock rupture depth extent. Mainshocks that rupture across the shallow megathrust to near the trench have greater intraplate aftershock faulting diversity than events with rupture confined to deeper portions of the megathrust. Diversity of intraplate aftershock faulting also increases as the size of the mainshock approaches the largest size event to have ruptured that region of the megathrust. Based on these tendencies, we identify “breakthrough” ruptures as those involving shallow rupture of the megathrust with volumetrically extensive elastic strain drop around the plate boundary that allows activation of diverse intraplate faulting influenced by long-term ambient deformation stresses. In contrast, homogeneity of the aftershock faulting mechanisms indicates only partial release of elastic strain energy and remaining potential for another large rupture.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Wetzler, Nadav0000-0002-6484-7249
Lay, Thorne0000-0003-2360-4213
Brodsky, Emily E.0000-0002-6855-6860
Kanamori, Hiroo0000-0001-8219-9428
Additional Information:© 2017 American Geophysical Union. Received 16 JUN 2017; Accepted 17 SEP 2017; Accepted article online 21 SEP 2017; Published online 9 OCT 2017. This work made use of MATLAB software. The USGS National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) and Global Centroid Moment Tensor (GCMT) earthquake catalogs provided the locations and focal mechanisms considered in this study. We thank two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments. This work was supported by U.S. NSF grant EAR1245717 to Thorne Lay.
Group:Seismological Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:Earthquakes; Subduction; Focal mechanism; Stress; Aftershocks
Issue or Number:19
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170922-080126962
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Official Citation:Wetzler, N., Lay, T., Brodsky, E. E., & Kanamori, H. (2017). Rupture-depth-varying seismicity patterns for major and great (Mw ≥ 7.0) megathrust earthquakes. Geophysical Research Letters, 44, 9663–9671.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:81727
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:22 Sep 2017 16:49
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 19:45

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