Asperity generating upper crustal sources revealed by b value and isostatic residual anomaly grids in the area of Antofagasta, Chile.

Sobiesiak, M., Meyer, U., Schmidt, Sabine, Götze, Hans-Jürgen and Krawczyk, C. M. (2007) Asperity generating upper crustal sources revealed by b value and isostatic residual anomaly grids in the area of Antofagasta, Chile. Journal of Geophysical Research - Solid Earth, 112 (B12308). DOI 10.1029/2006JB004796.

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Abstract

In our study we show that the locations of largest coseismic slip (asperities) on the fault plane of the M(w) = 8.0 1995 Antofagasta earthquake in Northern Chile can be mapped by the spatial distribution of the seismic b value obtained from the aftershock sequence of the megathrust earthquake. These areas of high seismic moment release and concurrent high-b values are congruent with anomalies of the gravity isostatic residual (IR) field in the Antofagasta region. They are superimposed on the seismogenic part of the north Chilean subduction zone where the strongest coupling of the upper and lower plate is expected. The IR anomalies are interpreted to be caused by large Jurassic-Early Cretaceous batholiths which intruded into the upper crust. The observed positive correlations between high seismic b values, IR anomalies, and geologic structures enable us to propose a mechanical model for the generation of the asperities in the Antofagasta region. We suggest that the batholiths in conjunction with buoyant forces acting on the subducted slab of the Nazca plate are responsible for locking the interface where the asperities are located. This implies long-term conditions for the existence of the asperity generating tectonic situation. Concequently, the asperities around Antofagasta could be stationary features, at least for several seismic cycles. Hence we propose that the IR anomalies along the north Chilean convergent margin can be used as an indicator for high moment release and slip in future large earthquakes.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: subduction-zone, earthquakes, central Andes, convergent margin, northern Chile, South America, geodetic data, Costa Rica, seismicity, deformation
Research affiliation: Kiel University
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1029/2006JB004796
ISSN: 0148-0227
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2012 05:32
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2016 08:30
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/15955

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