Tectonic faults accommodate plate motion through various styles of seismic and aseismic slip spanning a wide range of spatiotemporal scales. Understanding the mechanics and interplay between seismic rupture and aseismic slip is central to seismotectonics as it determines the seismic potential of faults. In particular, unraveling the underlying physics controlling these styles of deformation bears a great deal in earthquakes hazards mitigation especially in highly urbanized regions.
In partnership with the AGU Tectonophysics section, we invite contributions from observational, experimental, geological and theoretical studies that explore the diversity and interplay among seismic and aseismic slip phenomena in various tectonic settings, including the following questions: (1) How does the nature of creeping faults change with the style of faulting, loading rate, and other factors? (2) Are different slip behaviors well separated in space, or can the same fault areas experience different failure modes? (3) Is there a systematic spatial or temporal relation between different types of slip?

Invited speakers:
- Chris Marone, Penn State. "Fault healing plays a key role in creating the spectrum of tectonic faulting styles from seismic to aseismic slip "

- Adriano Gualandi, Caltech. "Towards Slow Earthquakes Forecasting"

Co-organized by GD9/SM2, co-sponsored by AGU-Tectonophysics
Convener: Jorge JaraECSECS | Co-conveners: Blandine GardonioECSECS, Luca Dal ZilioECSECS, Allie HutchisonECSECS, Valere LambertECSECS, Sylvain MichelECSECS, Harsha S. Bhat
| Attendance Tue, 05 May, 14:00–15:45 (CEST)

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Chat time: Tuesday, 5 May 2020, 14:00–15:45

D1320 |
Carolina Giorgetti and Marie Violay

Despite natural faults are variably oriented to the Earth's surface and to the local stress field, the mechanics of fault reactivation and slip under variable loading paths (sensu Sibson, 1993) is still poorly understood. Nonetheless, different loading paths commonly occur in natural faults, from load-strengthening when the increase in shear stress is coupled with an increase in normal stress (e.g., reverse faults in absence of the fluid pressure increase) to load-weakening when the increase in shear stress is coupled with a decrease in normal stress (e.g., normal faults). According to the Mohr-Coulomb theory, the reactivation of pre-existing faults is only influenced by the fault orientation to the stress field, the fault friction, and the principal stresses magnitude. Therefore, the stress path the fault experienced is often neglected when evaluating the potential for reactivation. Yet, in natural faults characterized by thick, incohesive fault zone and highly fractured damage zone, the loading path could not be ruled out. Here we propose a laboratory approach aimed at reproducing the typical tectonic loading paths for reverse and normal faults. We performed triaxial saw-cut experiments, simulating the reactivation of well-oriented (i.e., 30° to the maximum principal stress) and misoriented (i.e., 50° to the maximum principal stress), normal and reverse gouge-bearing faults under dry and water-saturated conditions. We find that load-strengthening versus load-weakening path results in clearly different hydro-mechanical behavior. Particularly, prior to reactivation, reverse faults undergo compaction even at differential stresses well below the value required for reactivation. Contrarily, normal faults experience dilation, most of which occurs only near the differential stress values required for reactivation. Moreover, when reactivating at comparable normal stress, normal faults (load-weakening path) are more prone to slip seismically than reverse fault (load-strengthening path). Indeed, the higher mean stress that normal fault experienced before reactivation compacts more efficiently the gouge layer, thus increasing the fault stiffness and favoring seismic slip. This contrasting fault zone compaction and dilation prior to reactivation may occur in different natural tectonic settings, affecting the fault hydro-mechanical behavior. Thus, to take into account the loading path the fault experienced is fundamental in evaluating both natural and induced fault reactivation and the related seismic risk assessment.

How to cite: Giorgetti, C. and Violay, M.: The influence of loading path on fault reactivation: a laboratory perspective, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-15091, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-15091, 2020

D1321 |
John Bedford, Daniel Faulkner, and Nadia Lapusta

Heterogeneity is abundant in crustal fault zones from the micron-scale to the plate interface scale. Despite this, it is still uncertain how different scales of heterogeneity interact and influence the mechanical properties of natural faults. Here we present experimental results where heterogeneous faults are simulated in the laboratory by placing patches of different fault gouge materials next to each other in a direct shear arrangement. These laterally heterogeneous experimental faults (50 mm in total length) are then sheared and the frictional strength evolution is measured with increasing displacement. Two types of fault gouge are used: (1) a fine-grained quartz gouge which obeys Byerlee friction (coefficient of friction = 0.6-0.7) and is rate weakening, and (2) a clay gouge comprised predominantly of kaolinite which has a low friction coefficient (approx. 0.25) and is rate strengthening. We find that with the addition of only a small amount of clay gouge the bulk fault strength weakens considerably after only a few millimetres of slip. Although clay is preferentially smeared along localized Y-shear bands, the observed weakening cannot be explained by clay smear as the total displacement on the fault is far too small for the clay to be smeared through the entire length of the quartz patches. Instead we propose stress concentrations at the boundary between clay and quartz patches, driven by slip on the weaker clay patch, produce enhanced weakening and shear at an overall low stress within the quartz patches.

The scale of heterogeneity also controls the frictional stability of the experimental fault. When clay patches are small and comprise <20% of the total fault area, instabilities occur within the unstable quartz gouge leading to stick-slip behaviour. However when patches of clay comprise >20% of the total sliding area, instabilities within the quartz are supressed leading to stable sliding. In this case, the bulk fault also becomes increasingly rate-strengthening with slip, tending towards the behaviour of a fault comprised of 100% clay. These results demonstrate how natural geological heterogeneity and the interplay between different geologic materials can help explain fault weakness and also control the seismogenic potential of tectonic faults.

How to cite: Bedford, J., Faulkner, D., and Lapusta, N.: The role of heterogeneity in fault zone weakening and stability, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-9568, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-9568, 2020

D1322 |
| Highlight
Chris Marone

Tectonic faults fail in a broad spectrum of modes ranging from aseismic creep to fast, ordinary, earthquakes modulated by elastodynamic rupture processes. Laboratory friction experiments with repetitive stick-slip failure have reproduced this complete range of modes with failure durations spanning several orders of magnitude. These works show that the frictional weakening rate with slip (i.e., the rheological critical stiffness kcn(b-a)/Dc, where σn is effective fault normal stress, Dc is the friction critical slip distance and (b-a) represents the friction rate parameter) is the primary control on the mode of slip, but higher-order effects are also important including variation of kc  with slip velocity.  Far from the stability boundary, stick-slip occurs when the rate of elastic unloading with slip k is small compared to the frictional weakening rate (i.e., k<<kc). Potential energy, in the form of stored elastic strain, drives rapid fault acceleration. Near the stability boundary, when k ~ kc, lab experiments document slow and quasi-dynamic failure events, consistent with the observation that earthquake stress drop is negligible for slow earthquakes. Lab data show that stick-slip stress drop decreases systematically as k/kc approaches 1 from below. There are two possible scenarios for slow slip near the stability boundary, although they are degenerate in most cases. 1) Fault slip relieves elastic stresses prior to failure and thus the potential energy needed to drive fast rupture is absent. 2) Elastic strain accumulates but the fault rheology is velocity strengthening or otherwise inconsistent with rapid slip, for example because the frictional weakening rate kc  is low.  In Scenario 1, slip can occur early in the seismic cycle, as creep, or later in the cycle when shear stress reaches a critical value for precursory slip.  In either case, slip occurs because the rate of fault healing is low compared to the stressing rate. A low rate of fault healing can also explain Scenario 2 because the friction state evolution parameter b scales directly with the rate of fault healing and kc. Given that the friction parameter a is positive definite, the frictional healing rate (b) sets the scale of kc for a given value of Dc. Thus, while these two scenarios for slow slip appear distinct they both derive from the rate of fault healing.  Exceptions would involve faults that are strongly velocity weakening (b-a) >>0 yet have negligible healing rates (b ~ 0), which is indeed rare.  The rate of fault healing is expected to vary with mineralogy, effective stress, temperature and other factors. Thus, while we expect a systematic variation of seismic style with depth, associated with changes in kc, we should not be surprised to find a spectrum of faulting styles throughout the lithosphere, including a range of styles at a given location.  Discoveries of seismic tremor, low frequency earthquakes, and other modes of fault slip are challenging our views of tectonic faulting and they highlight the need for close connections between field observations, detailed laboratory work and theoretical studies of friction and faulting.

How to cite: Marone, C.: Fault healing plays a key role in creating the spectrum of tectonic faulting styles from seismic to aseismic slip, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-2761, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-2761, 2020

D1323 |
Natalia Poiata, Jean-Pierre Vilotte, Nikolai Shapiro, Mariano Supino, and Kazushige Obara

Short-duration transient seismic events known as low-frequency earthquakes (LFEs) are a component of the slow earthquakes family observed in the transition zone, at the root of seismogenic regions of the subduction zones or active faults. LFEs are the signature of impulse seismic energy radiation associated to and often mixed within complex tectonic tremor signal. Detailed analysis and characterization of LFE space-time activity in relation to other slow earthquake phenomena can provide important information about the state and the processes of fault interface.

We derive a catalog of LFEs in western Shikoku (Japan) by applying a full waveform coherency-based detection and location method to the 4-year continuous data covering the period of 2013-2016 and recorded at Hi-net seismic stations of NIED. The obtained catalog of over 150,000 detected events allows looking into the details of LFE space-time activity during the tectonic tremor sequences and inter-sequence periods.

We use this catalogue of LFEs to perform a systematic statistical analysis of the event occurrence patterns by applying correlation and clustering analysis to infer the large-scale (long temporal ~ 1-2 day duration) space-time characteristics and interaction patterns of activity and its potential relation to the structural complexity of the subducting plate. We also analyze the correlation between the migration of clustered LFE activity during energetic tremor sequences and short-term slow slip events occurring in the area during the analyzed period.

How to cite: Poiata, N., Vilotte, J.-P., Shapiro, N., Supino, M., and Obara, K.: Complexity of low-frequency earthquakes activity in western Shikoku, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-15224, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-15224, 2020

D1324 |
| Highlight
Adriano Gualandi, Jean-Philippe Avouac, Sylvain Michel, and Davide Faranda

Slow Slip Events (SSEs) are episodic slip events that play a significant role in the moment budget along subduction megathrust. They share many similarities with regular earthquakes, and have been observed in major subduction regions like, for example, Cascadia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand. They show striking regularity, suggesting that it might be possible to forecast their size and timing, but the prediction of their extension and exact timing is still yet to come. They certainly are a great natural system to study how friction works at scale of the order of hundreds or thousands of km, and their recurrence time being much shorter than that of regular earthquakes, they give us the possibility to study multiple cycles and test their predictability.
Here we focus on the Cascadia region, where SSEs recur every about 1 or 2 years, depending on the latitude. The study of GPS position time series during the time span ranging from 2007 to 2017 has revealed a low-dimensional (< 5) non-linear chaotic dynamics with a predictable horizon (calculated as the inverse of the metric entropy) in the order of days to months for causally filtered data. It is notable that the increase of instantaneous dimensionality of the attractor seems to constitute a reliable precursor of the large SSEs. The causal filter adopted to reach this conclusion introduces a group delay larger than the predictability horizon time, meaning that this approach cannot be used for real-time forecasting. We thus test alternative filters and data driven approaches (e.g., dynamic mode decomposition) for real-time characterization of the attractor’s properties and evolution. In any case, we conclude that SSEs in Cascadia can be described as a deterministic, albeit chaotic, system rather than as a random process. As SSEs might be regarded as earthquakes in slow motion, regular earthquakes might be similarly chaotic and predictable for short amount of times. If the relation between predictability horizon and the duration of the instability (i.e., slipping event duration) holds also for regular earthquakes, this would imply that earthquakes long-term predictions are intrinsically impossible, and the predictable horizon would be only a fraction of the regular earthquakes typical duration (10-100 s for M>6 earthquakes).

How to cite: Gualandi, A., Avouac, J.-P., Michel, S., and Faranda, D.: Towards Slow Earthquakes Forecasting, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-19639, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-19639, 2020

D1325 |
Virginie Durand, Stephan Bentz, Grzegorz Kwiatek, Georg Dresen, Christopher Wollin, Oliver Heidbach, Patricia Martinez-Garzon, Fabrice Cotton, Murat Nurlu, and Marco Bohnhoff

In September 2019 a sequence of two moderate earthquakes (Mw4.7 and Mw5.8) occurred in the central Sea of Marmara (Turkey), SW of Istanbul. These events took place ate the transition between a creeping and a locked segment of the North Anatolian Fault. To investigate in detail the spatiotemporal evolution of the seismicity, we apply a matched-filter technique to continuous waveforms, thus reducing the magnitude threshold for detection. Sequences of foreshocks preceding the two mainshocks are clearly seen, exhibiting different behaviors: a migration of the seismicity along the entire fault segment on the long-term (several days before the mainshocks) and a concentration around the epicenters of the large events on the short-term (during the few hours preceding the mainshocks). We infer that both seismic and aseismic slip during the foreshock sequences change the stress state on the fault, bringing it closer to failure. Our observations also suggest that the Mw 4.7 event contributed to weaken the fault as part of the preparation process of the Mw 5.8 earthquake.

How to cite: Durand, V., Bentz, S., Kwiatek, G., Dresen, G., Wollin, C., Heidbach, O., Martinez-Garzon, P., Cotton, F., Nurlu, M., and Bohnhoff, M.: Analysis of the foreshock sequences preceding two moderate (Mw4.7 and Mw5.8) earthquakes in the Sea of Marmara offshore Istanbul, Turkey., EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-3556, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-3556, 2020

D1326 |
| Highlight
Jean-Paul Ampuero, Jérémy Billant, Florent Brenguier, Olivier Cavalié, Francoise Courboulex, Anne Deschamps, Bertrand Delouis, Raphaël Grandin, Romain Jolivet, Chao Liang, Aurélien Mordret, and Elif Oral

An earthquake of magnitude 5 (Mw 4.9) occurred near the town of Le Teil, France on November 11 2019, causing damage locally and concern due to its proximity to nuclear facilities. Despite its moderate magnitude, this earthquake offers unique opportunities to advance basic and applied research on earthquakes in general, including our understanding of the largest and most destructive earthquakes and induced seismicity. We present here an overview of the source characteristics of this event and, based on analysis of InSAR and seismological observations and optical images, we discuss its potential relation to human activity. We also discuss the emerging unique research opportunities.

The Le Teil earthquake occurred in a low seismicity region, a moderate hazard zone that has nevertheless experienced damaging earthquakes in the past. Its hypocentral depth is particularly shallow, less than 1.5 km. Radar images delineate the surface rupture and constrain well the coseismic slip distribution. The surface rupture corresponds to the previously mapped La Rouvière fault, an ancient normal fault reactivated as reverse-faulting by the Le Teil earthquake. Slip is predominantly confined in the top ~1 km and extends along ~4.5 km along-strike with two main slip asperities and stress drop of a few MPa. A large cement quarry sits on top of the deep edge of the rupture area, ~1 km above the fault. Based on optical images we estimate the distribution of mass extracted from the nearby quarry since 1947. We then compute the induced Coulomb stresses on the fault: they are favorable for reverse faulting and reach about 150 kPa, within the range of stresses that have been previously reported to trigger earthquakes, but substantially smaller than the coseismic stress drop. Analysis of the mainshock and quarry blast signals on the nearest stations (8.5 to 45 km distance) places the mainshock epicenter within the area of influence of the quarry-induced stresses. 

These analyses so far indicate that the Le Teil event is likely a triggered earthquake: its initiation was favored by the quarry-induced stresses, but the bulk of its rupture propagation was enabled by naturally pre-existing stresses. We also report on directivity analyses based on various data subsets, which remain to be reconciled, possibly pointing to a non-trivial rupture path.

The characteristics of the Le Teil earthquake bear on important questions: how can earthquakes nucleate at such shallow depth? what confines slip at such shallow depth? do structural features control the patchy distribution of slip? how do elongated ruptures stop? It also offers a unique opportunity to study directly, by drilling at seismogenic depth, the three key spots of an earthquake: its hypocenter, its large slip area and its arrest area. The high aspect ratio of the rupture, comparable to that of the largest earthquakes, opens a window into the physics of very large earthquakes. Continued research would also address implications for seismic hazard in low-seismicity areas, including the safety of nearby nuclear power plants, especially by monitoring the unbroken sections of the fault system.

How to cite: Ampuero, J.-P., Billant, J., Brenguier, F., Cavalié, O., Courboulex, F., Deschamps, A., Delouis, B., Grandin, R., Jolivet, R., Liang, C., Mordret, A., and Oral, E.: The November 11 2019 Le Teil, France M5 earthquake: a triggered event in nuclear country, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-18295, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-18295, 2020

D1327 |
Valentine Lefils, Alexis Rigo, and Efthimios Sokos

The North-Eastern zone of the Gulf of Corinth in Greece is characterized by the rotation of a micro-plate in formation. The Island Akarnanian Block (IAB) have been progressively individualized since the Pleistocene (less than ~ 1.5 My ago). This micro-plate is the result of a larger-scale tectonic context with, on one side the N-S extension of the Gulf of Corinth to the East, and on the other side the Hellenic subduction to the South and the Apulian collision to the West. To the Northeast, the IAB micro-plate is bounded by a large North-South sinistral strike-slip fault system, the Katouna-Stamna Fault (KSF) and by several normal faults. To the North, normal faults reach the limit between Apulian and Eurasian plates and to the East, they form the East-West graben of Trichonis lake.

Although the structures and dynamics behind the Gulf of Corinth extension are today relatively known, nevertheless, the set of faults linking the Gulf of Corinth to the Western subduction structures remain poorly studied. The seismicity recorded by the Greek national network shows discrepancies regarding to the faults mapped on the surface.

At the end of 2015, a new micro-seismicity campaign started with the deployment of a temporary seismological network in an area ranging from the Gulf of Patras to the Amvrakikos Gulf toward the North. This network includes 17 seismic stations, recording continuously, added to the permanent stations of the Corinth Rift Laboratory (CRL) and of the Hellenic Unified Seismic Network (HUSN).

The analysis of the seismological records is still in process for the 2016 and 2017 years. Our study consists first in picking the P- and S- waves, and then to precisely localize the seismic events recorded by our temporary seismological network combined with the permanent ones. We will present here the event location map obtained for the 2016-2017 period, a new seismic velocity model, and focal mechanisms. The seismic activity including thousands of events, is characterized by the presence of numerous clusters of few days to few weeks duration. The clusters are analysed in detail by relative relocations in order to appraise their physical processes and their implications in the fault activity. We will discuss the deformation mode of the region and build a seismotectonic model consistent with the regional geodynamics and observations.

How to cite: Lefils, V., Rigo, A., and Sokos, E.: From Corinth gulf extension to Ionian subduction/collision (W. Greece): micro-seismicity survey to constrain local tectonics and regional geodynamics, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-215, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-215, 2019

D1328 |
James Biemiller, Laura Wallace, and Luc Lavier

Whether low-angle normal faults (LANFs; dip < 30°) slip in large earthquakes or creep aseismically is a longstanding problem in fault mechanics. Although abundant in the geologic record, active examples of these enigmatic ‘misoriented’ structures are rare and extension rates across them are typically less than a few mm/yr. As such, geodetic and seismological observations of LANFs are sparse and can be difficult to interpret in terms of earthquake cycles. With a long-term slip rate of ~1 cm/yr, the Mai’iu fault in Papua New Guinea may be the world’s most active LANF and thus offers an outstanding natural laboratory to evaluate seismic vs. aseismic behavior of LANFs. Here, we use new results from a campaign GPS network to determine the degree of locking vs. aseismic creep on the Mai’iu fault and evaluate these results in the context of geological evidence for mixed seismic and aseismic slip in exhumed Mai’iu fault rocks.

We derive velocities from GPS measurements with 3-4 km station spacing above the shallowest portions of the fault, which dips 21-25° at the surface. Dislocation modeling of these velocities is consistent with 6-8 mm/yr of horizontal extension, corresponding to ~1 cm/yr dip-slip rates on a 27-35°-dipping fault. Strain rates and vertical derivatives of horizontal stress rates derived from these velocities confirm localized extension across the fault. We compare and evaluate two interseismic locking models that fit the data best: one in which the fault deforms by shallow near-surface creep updip of a deeper zone of increased interseismic coupling which soles into a steadily creeping shear zone at depth, and one in which the fault creeps steadily downdip of a shallowly locked patch. These results combined with field and microstructural evidence from the exhumed fault rocks suggest that the fault slips by a mixture of brittle frictional (seismic slip, fracturing, and cataclastic creep) and viscous (stress-driven dissolution-precipitation creep, or pressure solution) processes. Using depth-constrained mechanical properties and stress conditions inferred from exhumed fault rocks, we model the time-dependent competition between frictional slip and viscous creep to assess where and how elastic strain accumulates along the Mai’iu fault, and whether the fault is capable of hosting or nucleating earthquakes.

How to cite: Biemiller, J., Wallace, L., and Lavier, L.: Mixed-Mode Seismic Slip and Aseismic Creep on a Highly Active Low-Angle Normal Fault System in Papua New Guinea, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-230, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-230, 2019

D1329 |
Ekaterina Kazachkina, Mathilde Radiguet, Nathalie Cotte, Jorge Jara, Andrea Walpersdorf, and Vladimir Kostoglodov

An intriguing sequence of a 2-stage SSE in Guerrero and a simultaneous SSE in Oaxaca took place in Mexico in 2017-2019. Three large earthquakes occur during these SSEs adding complexity to the observed surface deformations. The objective of this work is to explain the interaction between the overlapping seismic and aseismic events through the analysis of continuous GPS observations.

We perform kinematic inversion of the GPS time series solving for the cumulative slip distribution on the subduction interface due to two SSEs, using Independent Component Analysis Inversion Method (ICAIM, Gualandi, 2015). The daily position time series for 2017-2019 are obtained by processing continuous data using GAMIT/GLOBK 10.7 (Herring et al, 2018). Strong postseismic signals generated by the following earthquakes 08/09/2017 Mw8.2 in Tehuantepec, 19/09/2017 Mw7.1 in Puebla-Morelos and 16/02/2018 Mw7.2 in Pinotepa are removed using the ICA decomposition.

Our results show complex slip evolution on the subduction interface. We observe a clear change of cumulative seismic moment release rate after large seismic events of 2017 and after the earthquake in Pinotepa in 2018. The occurrence of Mw8.2 and Mw7.1 events notably slowed down the slip propagation of the Guerrero SSE. Continuous SSE in Oaxaca propagates from the northeast near the city of Oaxaca (-97.00°E, 16.70°N) towards the southwest approaching Pinotepa (-98.00°E, 17.00°N). Guerrero SSE migrates from the origin of its 1st phase near Tecpan (-100.50°E, 17.50°N) southeastwards to Acapulco (-99.50°E, 17.20°N) where the 2nd stage develops. Therefore the stress changes induced by the two aseismic events likely triggered the Mw7.2 Pinotepa earthquake (-98.01°E, 16.22°N).

How to cite: Kazachkina, E., Radiguet, M., Cotte, N., Jara, J., Walpersdorf, A., and Kostoglodov, V.: 2017-2019 SSE sequence and its interaction with large earthquakes in Mexico, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-232, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-232, 2019

D1330 |
Meng Wei and Pengcheng Shi

Synchronization behavior of large earthquakes, rupture of nearby faults close in time for many cycles, has been reported in many fault systems. The general idea is that the faults in the system have similar repeating interval and are positively coupled through stress interaction. However, many details of such synchronization remain unknown. Here, we built numerical models in the framework of rate-and-state friction to simulate earthquake cycles on the west Gofar fault, an oceanic transform fault in the East Pacific Rise. Our model is consisted of two seismic segments, separated by a creeping segment, for which the size and location is constrained by seismic data. The parameters in the seismic segments were set to reproduce M6 earthquakes every 5 years, to be consistent with observation. We varied the parameters in the creeping segment to understand its role on earthquake synchronization. We found that the width and the strength of the creeping segment will determine the synchronization of earthquake cycles on the two seismic segments. When the creeping segment is relatively narrow or weak, the system will become synchronized quickly and the synchronization remains for many cycles. When it is relatively wide or strong, the earthquake cycles on the two segments are not related but could be synchronized by chance. In both cases, earthquakes tend to rupture the entire seismic segment. Between these two end-member situations, the system fluctuated between synchronization and non-synchronization on the time scale of 5-10 cycles. The switch always happens when the partial rupture of the seismic segment occurs, resulting in moderate size earthquakes (M4-5) and earthquake cycle shift, which is likely caused by stress interaction through the creeping segment. Here, we conclude that the co-seismic slip and aseismic after slip in the creeping segment could promote the synchronization of earthquake cycles on oceanic transform faults, and likely in other tectonic systems. In addition, the average seismic ratio of the entire fault can be quite low, ranging between 0.2-0.4 because of the barrier segment. We suggest that the existence of creep segments contributed significantly to the well-observed low seismic ratio on oceanic transform faults.

How to cite: Wei, M. and Shi, P.: Role of the creeping segment in the synchronization of earthquake cycles on oceanic transform faults revealed by numerical simulations in the framework of rate-and-state friction, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-2770, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-2770, 2020

D1331 |
Hui Su and Yuanze Zhou

A fault is a low-velocity zone with widely distributed scatterers compared to the surrounding uniform materials because of the highly damaged rocks in its core. When seismic waves travel through faults, they will reflect on boundaries multiply and be trapped in the fault zones which cause the energy redistribution and generate coda waves with complicated characteristics after the direct P- and S- waves. The coda is named fault-zone trapped waves (FZTWs) (Li et al., 1990). The amplitude and duration characteristics of FZTWs (Li et al., 2016) can be used to constrain the geometric features of the fault and the physical parameters of the scatterers, so the fine structure of the fault can be finally obtained. We observed some FZTWs at several Hi-net stations in Japan, which were generated by low magnitude aftershocks following large earthquakes. Relatively strong FZTWs can be recorded by the seismic stations near or on the fault where the events happened. In this study, we simulate the theoretic envelops of FZTWs with radiative transport theory (Sanborn et al., 2017) for possible velocity models with scatterers described with von Karman distribution (Sato et al., 2012). While the theoretical envelops of FZTWs fit the observed ones well,  the fine fault model is determined. The FZTWs from different events before and after the main shock can be used to determine the physical properties of faults and their adjoint area varied in the seismogenic process, then we can deeply understand the fault evolutions before and after earthquakes. The varying properties of faults can provide a new perspective for earthquake preparation and a new reference for earthquake prediction and promotes the development of earthquake prediction.
Li, Y. G., R. D. Catchings, and M. R. Goldman. 2016, Subsurface Fault Damage Zone of the 2014Mw 6.0 South Napa, California, Earthquake Viewed from Fault‐Zone Trapped Waves. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 106, no. 6,2747-2763. doi: 10.1785/0120160039.
Li, Y. G., P. Leary, K. Aki, and P. Malin. 1990, Seismic Trapped Modes in the Oroville and San-Andreas Fault Zones. Science, 249, no. 4970,763-766. doi: 10.1126/science.249.4970.763.
Sanborn, C. J., V. F. Cormier, and M. Fitzpatrick. 2017, Combined Effects of Deterministic and Statistical Structure on High-frequency Regional Seismograms. Geophysical Journal International, 210, no. 2,1143-1159. doi: 10.1093/gji/ggx219.
Sato H., Fehler M.C. 2012, Seismic Wave Propagation and Scattering in the Heterogeneous Earth, 2nd edn, Springer-Verlag.

How to cite: Su, H. and Zhou, Y.: Imaging fine seismic structures of faults with fault-zone trapped waves, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-3296, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-3296, 2020

D1332 |
Andrew Delorey

Fracture networks in the subsurface influence nearly every aspect of earthquakes and natural hazards.  These aspects, including stress, permeability and material failure, and are important for hazard assessment. However, our ability to monitor fracture behavior in the Earth is insufficient for any type of decision-making regarding hazard avoidance.  I propose a new method for probing the evolution of fracture networks in situ to inform public safety decisions and understand natural systems. 

In heterogeneous, fractured materials, like those found in the Earth, the relationship between stress and strain is highly nonlinear.  This nonlinearity in the upper crust is almost entirely due to fractures.  By measuring to what extent Earth materials exhibit nonlinear elastic behavior, we can learn more information about them.  Directly, measuring physical properties may be more useful than just detecting that fractures are present or how they are shaped and oriented.  We measure nonlinearity by measuring the apparent modulus at different strains. 

In this study we use a pump-probe analysis, which involves continuously probing velocity (as a proxy for modulus) while systematically straining the material.  We will use solid Earth tides as a strain pump and empirical Green’s functions (EGF) as a velocity probe.  We apply this analysis to the San Andreas Fault near Parkfield, California.  We chose Parkfield because there is a long-term deployment of borehole seismic instruments that recorded before and after a M6 earthquake.  We find evidence that nonlinear behavior is correlated with the seismic cycle and therefore it may contain information on the both the evolution and current state of stress on faults. 

How to cite: Delorey, A.: A Pump-Probe Analysis of Nonlinear Elastic Behavior on the San Andreas Fault, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-4534, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-4534, 2020

D1333 |
Li-Yang Hsiao and Wu-Lung Chang

Due to the rapid convergence of Philippine Sea Plate toward the continental margin of Eurasian Plate, the southern Taiwan has a high number of 8 active faults published by the Taiwan Central Geological Survey. We inverted the Global Positioning System (GPS) velocity measurements to investigate the slip rates on these faults and how these values could change with time, especially before and after large seismic events. In this study we employed TDEFNODE to first evaluate two fault-slip models before and after the 2016 Mw 6.4 Meinong earthquake within the periods of 2002 to 2016 (model 1) and 2016 to 2018 (model 2). Our results from these two models show that some long-term average fault slip rates were changed with time, such as the Zuozhen, Chishan and Hengchun faults that have values 30.2, 27.0 and 29.7 mm/yr in 2002-2016 and 15.2, 6.6 and 14.2 mm/yr in 2016-2018, respectively. In addition, we focused on the Mw 7.0 and Mw 6.9 2006 Hengchun doublet earthquakes by integrating the Permanent Scattered Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (PS-InSAR) data collected by ALOS from 2007 to 2011 with the GPS velocities for a joint inversion for fault slip model (model 3). The results show that the average long-term slip rates of the Chishan and Hengchun faults are 12.5 and 16.8 mm/yr, respectively, which are significantly lower than the rates of 2002-2016 (model 1). More fault models with different time spans are on the way to affirm these temporal rate changes and explore their implications on earthquake hazard analysis.

How to cite: Hsiao, L.-Y. and Chang, W.-L.: Temporal variation of fault slip rate in southern Taiwan by integrating GPS and InSAR observations, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-6559, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-6559, 2020

D1334 |
Frederique Rolandone, Jean-Mathieu nocquet, Patricia Mothes, Paul Jarrin, and Mathilde Vergnolle

In subduction zones, slip along the plate interface occurs in various modes including earthquakes, steady slip, and transient accelerated aseismic slip during either Slow Slip Events (SSE) or afterslip. We analyze continuous GPS measurements along the central Ecuador subduction segment to illuminate how the different slip modes are organized in space and time in the zone of the 2016 Mw 7.8 Pedernales earthquake. The early post-seismic period (1 month after the earthquake) shows large and rapid afterslip developing at discrete areas of the megathrust and a slow slip event remotely triggered (∼100 km) south of the rupture of the Pedernales earthquake. We find that areas of large and rapid early afterslip correlate with areas of the subduction interface that had hosted SSEs in years prior to the 2016 earthquake. Areas along the Ecuadorian margin hosting regular SSEs and large afterslip had a dominant aseismic slip mode that persisted throughout the earthquake cycle during several years and decades: they regularly experienced SSEs during the interseismic phase, they did not rupture during the 2016 Pedernales earthquake, they had large aseismic slip after it. Four years after the Pedernales earthquake, postseismic deformation is still on-going. Afterslip and SSEs are both involved in the postseimsic deformation. Two large aftershocks (Mw 6.7 & 6.8) occurred after the first month of postseismic deformation in May 18, and later in July 7 2016 two other large aftershocks (Mw 5.9 & 6.3) occurred, all were located north east of the rupture. They may have triggered their own postseismic deformation. Several seismic swarms were identified south and north of the rupture area by a dense network of seismic stations installed during one year after the Pedernales earthquakes, suggesting the occurrence of SSEs. Geodetically, several SSEs were detected during the postseismic deformation either in areas where no SSEs were detected previously, or in areas where regular seismic swarms and repeating earthquakes were identified. The SSEs may have been triggered by the stress increment due to aftershocks or due to afterslip.

How to cite: Rolandone, F., nocquet, J.-M., Mothes, P., Jarrin, P., and Vergnolle, M.: Afterslip and slow slip events in the postseismic deformation of the 2016 Pedernales earthquake, Ecuador, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-6777, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-6777, 2020

D1335 |
Stefanie Koppensteiner, Harald Bauer, Lukas Plan, and Bernhard Grasemann

We studied polished slickensides, which are perfectly preserved in the Obir Caves (Northern Karavanke Mountains, Austria) situated in the Middle Triassic Wetterstein limestone of the Hochobir massif. The investigated area is located close to the seismogenic ESE-trending Periadriatic Fault System, which is the border between the Eastern and Southern Alps. The polished slickensides observed on a block between two major left-lateral NE-SW trending slickensides record a range of polishing from none to highly-reflective fault surfaces. A classification of the different polishing grades of the fault surfaces inside the cave compared with their spatial orientation shows that there is no relationship between the degree of polishing and fault orientation. Associated cataclastically deformed brittle fault zones and partly polished slickensides at the cave entrance and on the Eastern slope of the Hochobir massif where the fault zone localizes in shattered dolomitic rocks, show similar kinematics and spatial orientation to the faults inside the Obir Caves.

Thin section analysis identified the smooth fault mirror surfaces as principal slip surfaces. Cataclastic grains are truncated along the principal slip surfaces and along secondary Riedel faults. Five different stages of cataclastic deformation can be distinguished: I) Undeformed carbonate host rock. II) Isolated fractures in the host rock with injected ultracataclastic material. III) Dilation cataclasites containing jigsaw breccia. IV) Ultracataclasite with angular-to-rounded host rock fragments and jigsaw breccia. V) Ultracataclasite with isolated clasts and truncated grains close to the mirror surfaces.

The microstructures including polished slickensides, injected cataclasites and truncated grains along principal slip surfaces as well as the geological position close to the seismogenic Periadriatic Fault System suggest that the investigated fault surfaces in the Obir Caves formed during seismic slip.

How to cite: Koppensteiner, S., Bauer, H., Plan, L., and Grasemann, B.: Polished slickensides preserved in the Obir Caves (Austria) close to the Periadriatic Fault System, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-7992, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-7992, 2020

D1336 |
Blandine Gardonio, Aitaro Kato, Sylvain Michel, and Alexandre Schubnel


Although far from the Japanese main island of Honshu, the Izu-Bonin area is a very active seismic zone. It experienced two major earthquakes in the past decade: (i) the 2010 Mw 7.4 Ogasawara Islands intraplate earthquake that occurred on the 2010/12/22 in a normal-fault, in the outer-rise of the trench of the Pacific plate that subduct underneath the Philippine Sea plate, (ii) the Mw 7.9 Bonin island very-deep focus earthquake that occurred on the 2015/05/30 that was preceded by an acceleration of the seismicity at large depth. The aftershocks of the outer-rise earthquake were distributed in a NW-SE belt and formed subparallel lines along a fracture zone in the Pacific plate. The aftershocks were first located in the surroundings of the main shock rupture and migrated over the following days beyond or into the Ogasawara Plateau and the Uyeda Ridge. Due to its location in the sea and with only a few GPS and seismic stations around, it is difficult to assess the extent of the post-seismic deformation of this earthquake.

In that context, the analysis of repeating earthquakes as a proxy for slip on the fault is very useful. Using ten seismic stations, we detected 130 repeating earthquakes. Their number inscreased in the next few days following the main shock and are located in the northern branch of the fault. Ten days later, another increase of repeating earthquakes occurs on the subduction interface concomitent with a displacement to the east seen by GPS stations, indicating that the outer-rise earthquake might have triggered a slow slip event on the subduction interface. The main shock was also followed by an extremely rapid migration of the seismicity at depths up to 80km showing that it perturbed the entire outer-rise structure of the slab at depth.

How to cite: Gardonio, B., Kato, A., Michel, S., and Schubnel, A.: Post-seismic deformation of the 2010 M w 7.4 Ogasawara Islands outer-rise earthquake evidenced by Repeating Earthquakes., EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-18617, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-18617, 2020

D1337 |
Axel Periollat, Mathilde Radiguet, Jérôme Weiss, Cédric Twardzik, Nathalie Cotte, and Anne Socquet

Stress accumulation and relaxation occur on fault zones throughout the seismic cycle. In particular, the postseismic phase, which directly follows the earthquake rupture is a combination of different processes among which aseismic slip on the fault zone (called afterslip), viscoelastic deformation of the surrounding material, poroelastic relaxation and aftershocks. However, little work has been done on the early stage of the transition from the co- to the postseismic phase, and the physical processes explaining this transition.

In this study, we focus on the few minutes to the few days following the mainshock, where the deformation is assumed to be dominated by afterslip, for the Mw 9.0 Tohoku-Oki earthquake, one of the largest and most instrumented recent earthquake (2011). Here, GEONET GPS data are used to study its early stage.

Based on the method developed by Twardzik et al. (2019), we obtain kinematics position time series (30-s), which we use to characterize the fast displacements rates which typically occur during the early stages of this postseismic phase. For that, we use the GipsyX 1.2 software developed by JPL. Then, we apply a sidereal filter to remove the multi-path effect and obtained clean displacement time series.

This poster shows the preliminary results of our kinematics solutions analysis. In particular, we highlight study the differences between the standard and high rate estimation of the co-seismic offsets. We also characterize the temporal evolution of the early postseismic phase and study its spatial pattern with respect to that of the coseismic slip.


Twardzik Cedric, Mathilde Vergnolle, Anthony Sladen and Antonio Avallone (2019), Unravelling the contribution of early postseismic deformation using sub-daily GNSS positioning. Scientific Report 9, n°1 doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-39038-z

How to cite: Periollat, A., Radiguet, M., Weiss, J., Twardzik, C., Cotte, N., and Socquet, A.: Study of the early postseismic phase of Tohoku-Oki earthquake (2011) with kinematics solutions, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-9996, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-9996, 2020

D1338 |
Jason P. Morgan, Albert de Montserrat Navarro, Paola Vannucchi, Alexander Peter Clarke, Audrey Ougier-Simonin, and Luca Aldega

Non-volcanic tremor remains a poorly understood form of seismic activity. In its most common subduction zone setting, tremor typically occurs within the plate interface at or near the shallow and deep edges of the interseismically locked zone. Detailed seismic observations have shown that tremor is composed of repeating small low-frequency earthquakes (LFE), often accompanied by very-low-frequency earthquakes (VLF), all involving shear failure and slip. However, LFEs and VLFs within each cluster show nearly constant source durations for all observed magnitudes. This implies asperities of near-constant size,  with recent seismic observations hinting that the failure size is of order ~200m.  

We propose that geological observations and geomechanical lab measurements on heterogeneous rock assemblages representative of the shallow tremor region are most consistent with LFEs and VLFs involving the seismic failure of relatively weaker blocks within a stronger matrix.  Furthermore, in the shallow subducting rocks within a subduction shear channel, hydrothermal fluids and diagenesis have led to a strength inversion from the initial weak matrix with relatively stronger blocks to a stronger matrix with embedded relatively weaker blocks.  In this case, tremor will naturally occur as the now-weaker blocks fail seismically while their more competent surrounding matrix has not yet reached a state of general seismic failure, and instead only fails at local stress-concentrations around the tremorgenic blocks.

Here we use the recently developed code LaCoDe (de Monserrat et al., 2019) to create and explore a wide range of numerical experiments. These experiments are designed to characterize the  likely stress and strain accumulations that can develop in a heterogeneous subduction shear channel, and their implications for the genesis of tremor and its spatially associated seismic events.  In our previous modeling efforts we did not strongly vary either the block volume-fraction or the initial block and matrix geometry. Here we do both, and also explore a range of rock compressibilities ranging from seismically-inferred values to nearly incompressible behavior. We also explore models with irregular 'quasi-geological' initial block/matrix geometries. Drucker-Prager plasticity is used to characterize a fault-like mode of shear failure. This suite of experiments demonstrate that, for a wide range of block and matrix conditions,  the proposed strength-inversion mechanism can generate a mode of shallow tectonic tremor that clusters in spatially discontinuous swarms along the plate interface. At the deeper edge of the interseismically locked zone, channelised dehydration associated with subduction along a plate interface could induce a similar relative strength inversion, and thereby generate deep seated tremor.

How to cite: Morgan, J. P., de Montserrat Navarro, A., Vannucchi, P., Clarke, A. P., Ougier-Simonin, A., and Aldega, L.: The strength inversion origin of non-volcanic tremor: models and observations, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-10070, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-10070, 2020

D1339 |
Luca C. Malatesta, Lucile Bruhat, Noah J. Finnegan, and Jean-Arthur L. Olive

Along subduction margins, the morphology of the near shore domain records the combined action of erosion from ocean waves and permanent tectonic deformation from the convergence of plates. We observe that at subduction margins around the globe, the edge of continental shelves tends to be located above the downdip end of seismic coupling on the megathrust (locking depth). Coastlines lie farther landward at variable distances. This observation stems from a compilation of well-resolved coseismic and interseismic  coupling datasets. The permanent interseismic uplift component of the total tectonic deformation can explain the localization of the shelf break. It contributes a short wave-length gradient in vertical deformation on top of the structural and isostatic deformation of the margin. This places a hinge line between seaward subsidence and landward uplift above the locking depth. Landward of the hinge line, rocks are uplifted in the domain of wave-base erosion and a shelf is maintained by the competition of rock uplift and wave erosion. Wave erosion then sets the coastline back from the tectonically meaningful shelf break. We combine a wave erosion model with an elastic deformation model to show how the locking depth pins the location of the shelf break. In areas where the shelf is wide, onshore geodetic constraints on seismic coupling is limited and could be advantageously complemented by considering the location of the shelf break. Subduction margin morphology integrates hundreds of seismic cycles and could inform seismic coupling stability through time.

How to cite: Malatesta, L. C., Bruhat, L., Finnegan, N. J., and Olive, J.-A. L.: Co-location of the downdip end of seismic locking and the continental shelf break, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-10727, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-10727, 2020

D1340 |
Yingwen Zhao, Caijun Xu, and Yangmao Wen

On 12 December 2017, a shallow reverse earthquake ruptured an unrecognized fault located in a transpressional relay zone between Lakar Kuh and Gowk faults. Four tracks of Sentinel-1A/B interferometric wide swath SAR images are used to generate coseismic interferograms. The retrieved maximum line-of-sight (LOS) displacement is up to ~1 m toward the satellite for descending data. An offset tracking method within GAMMA software is used to generate range and azimuth offsets based on Sentinel-1 SAR images. Two Sentinel-2 images are processed with the COSI-Corr package to generate horizontal displacements. The calculated three-dimension deformation field shows that the east-west displacements have motions in different directions, the north-south shortening near the fault trace approaches ~2 m and the maximum uplift is over 1 m. Based on the rupture trace in Sentinel-2 image, a strike-variable fault is constructed to explain the LOS displacements. The estimated slip distribution shows that the peak slip is ~2.5 m located at a depth of ~1.5 km and the depth extent of rupture is 0-3 km with the length of rupture on the surface approaching ~7 km. There are both right-lateral and left-lateral slips occurring on the fault, which are consistent with field observations. The one year of postseismic displacements are estimated by a short baseline subset technique based on two tracks (ascending and descending) of Sentinel-1 SAR images. The maximum LOS displacements is up to ~7 cm toward the satellite for the descending data. The forward displacements show that the poro-elastic rebound in the upper crust does not explain the LOS data. The data can be fitted well in terms of afterslip. The estimated postseismic slip on this strike-variable fault is found to occur in portions of the fault where small slips on these patches are obtained in the coseismic slip inversion. Most of patches related to the postseismic slip are located below the main coseismic patches with the depth extent of rupture being 0.5-4 km. The cumulative slip distribution during one year has the peak slip of ~20 cm, releasing ~12% of the moment of coseismic rupture. Taking into account aftershock depths, the shallow postseismic slip is considered to occur aseismically and cause the most of postseismic deformation. The afterslip may result from some response to a stress concentration located at the periphery of main coseismic rupture. After the analysis on Coulomb stress change, it is possible that the former two Mw ~6 earthquakes occurred on 1 and 12 December cause stress perturbations in the seismogenic zone of this earthquake, which further may bring the local prestressed lithosphere to rupture. For this shallow event, a small shear modulus (less than 30 GPa) is needed to make the moment more comparable to seismic results. This earthquake can be interpreted as the accommodation of the northward motion in the form of oblique-slip reverse fault between right-lateral strike-slip fault systems. The unusually deformation patterns caused by the coseismic and postseismic slips of this earthquake may be indicative of differently local lithosphere structure in this transpressional relay zone.

How to cite: Zhao, Y., Xu, C., and Wen, Y.: Strike-variable coseismic and postseismic slips of the 12 December 2017 Mw 6.0 Hojedk (Iran) earthquake revealed by Sentinel-1/2 images: Implications for the local lithospheric structure, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-12085, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-12085, 2020

D1341 |
Thanushika Gunatilake and Stephen A. Miller

One question that remains unanswered is why some earthquakes are preceded by foreshocks and generate aftershocks by the thousands, while other similarly-sized (or larger) earthquakes produce few, if any, foreshocks or aftershocks. Current understanding equates large magnitude earthquakes with hundreds or even thousands of aftershocks, however a magnitude 7.1 earthquake in Mexico in 2017 and a magnitude 8.0 earthquake in 2019 in Peru generated no foreshocks and no aftershocks (M>4), while the 2020 M6.4 earthquake in Puerto Rico was preceded by ten foreshocks (M>4) and more than sixty aftershocks (M>4) in the first week. The 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake (M7.1) in California was preceded by a M6.4 foreshock and thousands of aftershocks, and this is relevant because this sequence occurred in the fluid-rich Coso hydrothermal/volcanic region. Other examples include the 2001 Kunlun (Tibet) earthquake (M=7.8) that generated a mere 12 aftershocks (M>4) in the first three weeks, while the tectonically similar 2002 Denali earthquake (M=7.9) spawned nearly 160 aftershocks (M>4) in the first three weeks. We attribute this contrasting behaviour to the geodynamic setting; subduction (and thus devolitization) underlies Denali, while a fluid-absent thickened crust (from the Himalayan orogeny) underlies Tibet.

In this work, we performed a global inventory of large earthquakes and their aftershocks, and find strong evidence that aftershock productivity correlates with the geodynamic and petrological settings hosting the earthquakes. In cases where deep fluid sources are likely (using geodynamic arguments), we find that earthquakes are sometimes preceded by foreshocks, and always produce rich aftershock sequences. On the contrary, using the same geodynamic arguments, we show that regions without an obvious deep fluid source produce few, if any, aftershocks. From this study, we hypothesize that, in general, fluid-absent geodynamic environments generate a dearth of aftershocks, while fluid-rich environments generate aftershock sequences that follow the typical Gutenberg-Richter, Bath and Omori Laws.

How to cite: Gunatilake, T. and Miller, S. A.: Earthquakes without aftershocks: Is there a link to fluid-absent geodynamics?, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-13980, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-13980, 2020

D1342 |
Marcel Mizera, Timothy Little, Carolyn Boulton, James Biemiller, and David Prior

Rapid dip-slip (11.7±3.5 mm/yr) on the active Mai'iu low-angle normal fault in SE Papua New Guinea enabled the preservation of early formed microstructures in mid to shallow crustal rocks. The corrugated, convex-upward shaped fault scarp dips as low as 16°–20° near its trace close to sea level and forms a continuous landscape surface traceable for at least 28 km in the NNE slip-direction. Structurally, offset on the Mai'iu fault has formed a metamorphic core complex and has exhumed a metabasaltic footwall during 30–45 km of dip slip on a rolling-hinge style detachment fault. The exhumed crustal section records the spatiotemporal evolution of fault rock deformation mechanisms and the differential stresses that drive slip on this active low-angle normal fault.

The Mai'iu fault exposes a <3 m-thick fault core consisting of gouges and cataclasites. These deformed units overprint a structurally underlying carapace of metabasaltic mylonites that are locally >60 m-thick. Detailed microstructural, textural and geochemical data combined with chlorite-based geothermometry of these fault rocks reveal a variety of deformation processes operating within the Mai'iu fault zone. A strong crystallographic preferred orientation of non-plastically deformed actinolite in a pre-existing, fine-grained (6–33 µm) mafic assemblage indicates that mylonitic deformation was controlled by diffusion-accommodated grain-boundary sliding together with syn-tectonic chlorite precipitation at >270–370°C. At shallower crustal levels on the fault (T≈150–270°C), fluid-assisted mass transfer and metasomatic reactions created a foliated cataclasite fabric during inferred periods of aseismic creep. Pseudotachylites and ultracataclasites mutually cross-cut both the foliations and one another, recording repeated episodes of seismic slip. In these fault rocks, paleopiezometry based on calcite twinning yields peak differential stresses of ~140–185 MPa at inferred depths of 8–12 km. These differential stresses were high enough to drive continued slip on a ~35° dipping segment of the Mai'iu fault, and to cause new brittle yielding of strong mafic rocks in the exhuming footwall of that fault. In the uppermost crust (<8 km; T<150°C), where the Mai'iu fault dips shallowly and is most severely misoriented for slip, actively deforming fault rocks are clay-rich gouges containing abundant saponite, a frictionally weak mineral (µ<0.28).

In summary, these results combined with fault dislocation models of GPS velocities from campaign stations in this region suggest a combination of brittle frictional and viscous flow processes within the Mai'iu fault zone. Gouges of the Mai'iu fault have been strongly altered by fluids and are frictionally weak near the surface, where the fault is most strongly misoriented. At greater depths (8–12 km) the fault is stronger and slips both by aseismic creep and episodic earthquakes (a mixture of fast and slow slip) in response to locally high differential stresses.

How to cite: Mizera, M., Little, T., Boulton, C., Biemiller, J., and Prior, D.: Mixed-mode Slip Behavior and Strength Evolution of an Actively Exhuming Low-Angle Normal Fault, Woodlark Rift, SE Papua New Guinea, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-17399, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-17399, 2020

D1343 |
Di Wang, Omid Dorostkar, Wei Zhou, Chris Marone, and Jan Carmeliet

Fault gouge is produced by comminution, wear and other shearing processes that take place during geological tectonic movements. The frictional properties and stick-slip dynamics of granular fault show similar patterns as geophysical phenomena like earthquakes and landslides. In this work, we introduce a particle breakage model in a granular fault system to study the effect of grain fracture on the stick-slip dynamics. Our results show that particle breakage changes the macroscopic friction and the characteristics of slip events. By statistical analyses on a large number of slip events, we find that grain fracture changes the distribution of slip event size. During the evolution of crushable fault gouge, particle breakage does not lead to large slip events but triggers many small slips that partly dissipate the accumulated energy. On the other hand, the grain fracture is also influenced by the slip dynamics: it is shown that larger slip events will lead to a series of particle breakage due to localized high stresses during the rearrangement of granular gouge. Our findings in this study show that in faults with granular gouge particle breakage significantly changes the characteristics of frictional instabilities and affects the dynamics of fault system.

How to cite: Wang, D., Dorostkar, O., Zhou, W., Marone, C., and Carmeliet, J.: Effect of grain fracture on stick-slip dynamics of granular fault gouge, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-18382, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-18382, 2020

D1344 |
Matteo Albano, Salvatore Barba, Christian Bignami, Carlo Doglioni, Eugenio Carminati, Michele Saroli, Marco Moro, Salvatore Stramondo, and Sergey Samsonov

Earthquakes are the result of the strain accumulation in the earth's crust over a variable decade to millennial period, i.e., the interseismic stage, followed by a sudden stress release at a crustal discontinuity, i.e., the coseismic stage, finally evolving in a postseismic stage.

Commonly, the seismic cycle is modelled with analytical and numerical approaches. Analytical methods simulate the interseismic, coseismic and postseismic phases independently. These models impose the slip of single or multiple planar sources to infer fault geometry, slip distribution and regional deformations to fit the available geodetic or seismological measurements, often regardless of the magnitude and orientation of the interseismic gravitational and tectonic forces. Numerical approaches allow simulating complex geometries in heterogeneous media and at different modelling scales, assuming various constitutive laws. Such models often impose the slip on the fault plane to simulate the observed coseismic dislocation or the propagation of the seismic waves, or they adopt ad-hoc boundary conditions to investigate the interseismic stress accumulation or the postseismic relaxation for specific cases.

We contribute to the understanding of the seismic cycle associated to a single fault by developing a numerical model to simulate the long-term crustal interseismic deformation, the coseismic brittle episodic dislocation, and the postseismic relaxation of the upper crust within a unified environment for both normal and reverse fault earthquakes in Italy, including the forces acting during the interseismic period, i.e., the lithostatic load and the horizontal stress field, the latter simulated with the application of a shear traction a the model’s base. We adjusted the setup of our model to simulate the interseismic, coseismic and postseismic phases for two seismic events: the Mw 6.1 L’Aquila 2009 normal fault earthquake and the Mw 5.9 Emilia-Romagna 2012 reverse fault earthquake.

The simulation results show that the applied basal shear traction is fundamental to model the large-scale interseismic pattern since it allows for a first-order simulation of the ongoing crustal interseismic extension of the Central Apennines and compression of the Adriatic foreland and the north-eastern part of the Italian territory. The action of shear tractions and lithostatic forces generates a local concentration of stresses and strains in the presence of local heterogeneities or discontinuities, i.e., at the transition between the brittle locked fault and the ductile unlocked slipping fault during the interseismic stage. Such an interseismic strain partitioning provides maximum horizontal stress sufficient to exceed the friction on the locked brittle part of the fault, with the subsequent collapse of the hangingwall in case of extensional earthquakes or the expulsion of the hangingwall in case of compressional earthquakes. The instantaneous slip of the hangingwall perturbs the crustal pore fluid pressures, triggering groundwater flow in the postseismic phase from regions of higher pore pressures, which further compress, to regions of lower pore pressures, which further dilate. As a result, displacements gradually accumulate in the postseismic phase, according to the dissipation of pore pressure excess. Once the postseismic phase terminates, a new cycle of interseismic loading can start again.

How to cite: Albano, M., Barba, S., Bignami, C., Doglioni, C., Carminati, E., Saroli, M., Moro, M., Stramondo, S., and Samsonov, S.: A unified numerical model for the simulation of the seismic cycle for normal and reverse fault earthquakes in Italy, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-4174, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-4174, 2020

D1345 |
Francois Passelegue, Michelle Almakari, Pierre Dublanchet, Fabian Barras, and Marie Violay

Modern geophysics highlights that the slip behaviour response of faults is variable in space and time and can result in slow or fast ruptures. Despite geodetical, seismological, experimental and field observations, the origin of this variation of the rupture velocity in nature, as well as the physics behind it, is still debated. Here, we first discuss the scaling relationships existing for the different types of fault slip observed in nature and we highlight how they appear to stem from the same physical mechanism. Second, we reproduce at the scale of the laboratory the complete spectrum of rupture velocities observed in nature. Our results show that when the nucleation length is within the fault length, the rupture velocity can range from a few millimetres to kilometres per second, depending on the available energy at the onset of slip. Our results are analysed in the framework of linear elastic fracture mechanics and highlight that the nature of seismicity is governed mostly by the initial stress level along the faults. Our results reveal that faults presenting similar frictional properties can rupture at both slow and fast rupture velocities. This combined set of field and experimental observations bring a new explanation of the dominance of slow rupture fronts in the shallow part of the crust and in areas presenting large fluid pressure, where initial stresses are expected to remain relatively low during the seismic cycle.

How to cite: Passelegue, F., Almakari, M., Dublanchet, P., Barras, F., and Violay, M.: On the Nature of Fault Slip: From the Field to the Lab, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-10197, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-10197, 2020

D1346 |
Pierre Romanet, Florent Aden-Antoniow, and Satoshi Ide

The relationship between slow earthquake and regular earthquake is fundamental question in seismology. It was already shown that some slow slip event may have led to some megathrust event. In return, passing surface wave from earthquake may also trigger tremors and slow slip event. Documenting these possible triggering effects between slow and fast events is of primary importance to understand them.

In this study we will focus more particularly on Marlborough region, in a region that was subject to the Mw 7.8 2016 Kaikoura earthquake. Two years before Kaikoura earthquake, we observed a Northeast to Southwest migration of tremors, getting closer to the hypocenter of Kaikoura earthquake. Despite being speculative, this may indicate that a slow slip event is happening shortly before Kaikoura earthquake, which is also supported by a small signal in two GPS stations nearby. After the earthquake, the rate of tremors increased in the region. Studying the relationship between tremors and the Kaikoura earthquake may provide some information on the role of the subduction in the region, as well as provide a new documented interaction of slow earthquakes with a crustal earthquake.

To detect and locate tremors, we use broadband and shortband velocity traces from the GeoNet network. The traces are bandpass filtered between 2-8Hz, and transform into envelope. Then we apply a classic cross-correlation technic to detect and locate the events. To remove unexpected events (i.e.: earthquakes), we used a criteria base on seismic energy and duration. Finally, we manually check each velocity traces and spectrograms.

How to cite: Romanet, P., Aden-Antoniow, F., and Ide, S.: The 2016 Mw 7.8 Kaikoura earthquake and its relationship to tremors., EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-12694, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-12694, 2020