Modeling aftership and aftershocks following the 1992 Landers earthquake

Hugo Perfettini, J. P. Avouac

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199 Citations (Scopus)


One way to probe the rheology of the lithosphere and fault zones is to analyze the temporal evolution of deformation following a large earthquake. In such a case, the lithosphere responds to a known stress change that can be assessed from earthquake slip models constrained from seismology and geodesy. Here, we model the postseismic response of a fault zone that is assumed to obey a rate-strengthening rheology, where the frictional stress varies as aσ, In(∈), ∈ being the deformation rate and aσ, > 0 a rheological parameter. The model is simple enough that these parameters can be estimated by inversion of postseismic geodetic data. We apply this approach to the analysis of geodetic displacements following the Mw,7.3, 1992, Landers earthquake. The model adjusts well the measured displacements and implies aσ ≈ 0.4770-53 MPa. In addition, we show that aftershocks and afterslip follow the same temporal evolution and that the spatiotemporal distribution of aftershocks is consistent with the idea that they are driven by reloading of the seismogenic zone resulting from frictional afterslip.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberB07409
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 4 Jul 2007


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