Comparison of postseismic afterslip models with aftershock seismicity for three subduction-zone earthquakes: Nias 2005, Maule 2010 and Tohoku 2011

Lange, Dietrich, Bedford, J. R., Moreno, M., Tilmann, F., Baez, J. C., Bevis, M. and Krüger, F. (2014) Comparison of postseismic afterslip models with aftershock seismicity for three subduction-zone earthquakes: Nias 2005, Maule 2010 and Tohoku 2011 Geophysical Journal International, 199 (2). pp. 784-799. DOI 10.1093/gji/ggu292.

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We focus on the relation between seismic and total postseismic afterslip following the Maule Mw 8.8 earthquake on 2010 February 27 in central Chile. First, we calculate the cumulative slip released by aftershock seismicity. We do this by summing up the aftershock regions and slip estimated from scaling relations. Comparing the cumulative seismic slip with afterslip models we show that seismic slip of individual aftershocks exceeds locally the inverted afterslip model from geodetic constraints. As the afterslip model implicitly contains the displacements from the aftershocks, this reflects the tendency of afterslip models to smear out the actual slip pattern. However, it also suggests that locally slip for a number of the larger aftershocks exceeds the aseismic slip in spite of the fact that the total equivalent moment of the afterslip exceeds the cumulative moment of aftershocks by a large factor. This effect, seen weakly for the Maule 2010 and also for the Tohoku 2011 earthquake, can be explained by taking into account the uncertainties of the seismicity and afterslip models. In spite of uncertainties, the hypocentral region of the Nias 2005 earthquake is suggested to release a large fraction of moment almost purely seismically. Therefore, these aftershocks are not driven solely by the afterslip but instead their slip areas have probably been stressed by interseismic loading and the mainshock rupture. In a second step, we divide the megathrust of the Maule 2010 rupture into discrete cells and count the number of aftershocks that occur within 50 km of the centre of each cell as a function of time. We then compare this number to a time-dependent afterslip model by defining the ‘afterslip to aftershock ratio’ (ASAR) for each cell as the slope of the best fitting line when the afterslip at time t is plotted against aftershock count. Although we find a linear relation between afterslip and aftershocks for most cells, there is significant variability in ASAR in both the downdip and along-strike directions of the megathrust. We compare the spatial distribution of ASAR with the spatial distribution of seismic coupling, coseismic slip and Bouguer gravity anomaly, and in each case we find no significant correlation.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000343411700012
Keywords: Creep and deformation; Earthquake dynamics; Seismicity and tectonics; Continental margins: convergent
Research affiliation: GFZ
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-GDY Marine Geodynamics
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1093/gji/ggu292
ISSN: 0956-540X
Projects: FONDECYT
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2014 08:00
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2014 11:11

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