Geodetic displacements and aftershocks following the 2001 Mw = 8.4 Peru earthquake: Implications for the mechanics of the earthquake cycle along subduction zones

H. Perfettini, J. P. Avouac, J. C. Ruegg

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72 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We analyzed aftershocks and postseismic deformation recorded by the continuous GPS station AREQ following the Mw = 8.4, 23 June 2001 Peru earthquake. This station moved by 50 cm trenchward, in a N235°E direction during the coseismic phase, and continued to move in the same direction for an additional 15 cm over the next 2 years. We compare observations with the prediction of a simple one-dimensional (1-D) system of springs, sliders, and dashpot loaded by a constant force, meant to simulate stress transfer during the seismic cycle. The model incorporates a seismogenic fault zone, obeying rate-weakening friction, a zone of deep afterslip, the brittle creep fault zone (BCFZ) obeying rate-strengthening friction, and a zone of viscous flow at depth, the ductile fault zone (DFZ). This simple model captures the main features of the temporal evolution of seismicity and deformation. Our results imply that crustal strain associated with stress accumulation during the interseismic period is probably not stationary over most of the interseismic period. The BCFZ appears to control the early postseismic response (afterslip and aftershocks), although an immediate increase, by a factor of about 1.77, of ductile shear rate is required, placing constraints on the effective viscosity of the DFZ. Following a large subduction earthquake, displacement of inland sites is trenchward in the early phase of the seismic cycle and reverse to landward after a time ti for which an analytical expression is given. This study adds support to the view that the decay rate of aftershocks may be controlled by reloading due to deep afterslip. Given the ratio of preseismic to postseismic viscous creep, we deduce that frictional stresses along the subduction interface account for probably 70% of the force transmitted along the plate interface.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberB09404
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Volume110
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sep 2005

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