EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Differences in the rupture process for very deep earthquakes at the Peru-Brazil and Peru-Bolivia borders 

Elisa Buforn1, Carmen Pro2, Hernando Tavera3, Agustin Udias1, and Maurizio Mattesini1
Elisa Buforn et al.
  • 1Universidad Complutense, Fac. CC. Fisicas, Geofisica y Meteorlogia, Madrid, Spain (
  • 2Dept. de Física, Universidad de Extremadura, Centro Universitario de Mérida, Sta Teresa de Jornet 38, 06800 Mérida, Badajoz, Spain
  • 3Instituto Geofísico del Perú, calle Lima 169, Lima, Peru

We analyze the differences in the rupture process for twelve very deep earthquakes (h>500 km) at the Peruvian-Brazilian subduction zone. These earthquakes are produced by the contact between the Nazca and the South America Plates. We have estimated the focal mechanism from teleseismic waveforms, using the slip inversion over the rupture plane, testing rupture velocities ranging from 2.5 km/s to 4.5 km/s, and analyzing the slip distribution for each  rupture velocity. The selected 12 earthquakes have occurred in the period 1994- 2016, with magnitudes between 5.9 and 8.2 and focal depth 500- 700 km. They can be separated in two groups attending to their epicentral location. The first group is formed by 9 events located, in the Peruvian-Brazil border, with epicenters following a NNW-SSE alignment, parallel to the trench. Their focal mechanisms present solutions of normal faulting with planes oriented in NS direction, dipping about 45 degrees and with vertical pressure axis. The second group is formed by three earthquakes located to the south of the first group in northern Bolivia. Their mechanisms show dip-slip motion with a near vertical plane, oriented in NW-SE direction and the pressure axis dipping 45º to the NE. The moment rate functions correspond to single ruptures with time durations from 6s to 12s, with the exception of the large 1994 Bolivian earthquake (Mw = 8.2) which presents a complex and longer STF. The different mechanisms for the two groups of earthquakes confirm the different dip of the subducting Nazca plate at the two areas, with the steeper part at the southern one.  

How to cite: Buforn, E., Pro, C., Tavera, H., Udias, A., and Mattesini, M.: Differences in the rupture process for very deep earthquakes at the Peru-Brazil and Peru-Bolivia borders , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-3256,, 2021.

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