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    Surface faulting earthquake clustering controlled by fault and shear-zone interactions

    Mildon, Zoe and Roberts, Gerald P. and Faure Walker, J.P. and Beck, J. and Papanikolaou, I. and Michetti, A.M. and Toda, S. and Iezzi, Francesco and Campbell, L. and McCaffrey, K.J.W. and Shanks, R. and Sgambato, Claudia and Robertson, Jenni and Meschis, Marco and Vittori, E. (2022) Surface faulting earthquake clustering controlled by fault and shear-zone interactions. Nature Communications 13 (7126), ISSN 2041-1723.

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    Abstract

    Surface faulting earthquakes are known to cluster in time from historical and palaeoseismic studies, but the mechanism(s) responsible for clustering, such as fault interaction, strain-storage, and evolving dynamic topography, are poorly quantified, and hence not well understood. We present a quantified replication of observed earthquake clustering in central Italy. Six active normal faults are studied using 36Cl cosmogenic dating, revealing out-of-phase periods of high or low surface slip-rate on neighboring structures that we interpret as earthquake clusters and anticlusters. Our calculations link stress transfer caused by slip averaged over clusters and anti-clusters on coupled fault/shearzone structures to viscous flow laws. We show that (1) differential stress fluctuates during fault/shear-zone interactions, and (2) these fluctuations are of sufficientmagnitude to produce changes in strain-rate on viscous shear zones that explain slip-rate changes on their overlying brittle faults. These results suggest that fault/shear-zone interactions are a plausible explanation for clustering, opening the path towards process-led seismic hazard assessments.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Natural Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Research in Environment and Sustainability, Centre for
    Depositing User: Gerald Roberts
    Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2023 06:23
    Last Modified: 09 May 2024 15:41
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/50562

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