Earthquake mechanisms and active tectonics of the Hellenic subduction zone

Shaw, B. and Jackson, J. A. (2010) Earthquake mechanisms and active tectonics of the Hellenic subduction zone. Geophysical Journal International, 181 (2). pp. 966-984. ISSN ISSN: 0956-540X, ESSN: 1365-246X DOI 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2010.04551.x

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Abstract

We use improved focal mechanisms and centroid depth estimates of earthquakes,combined with GPS velocities, to examine the tectonics of the Hellenic subduction zone, and in particular the processes occurring at both ends of the Hellenic Arc.Nubia-Aegean convergence is accommodated by shallowly dipping thrust-faulting along the subduction-zone interface, as well as by steeper splay faults in the overriding material. From a comparison of observed and expected seismic moment release over the last 100 years, combined with existing knowledge of the longer-term doc- umented historical record, we confirm earlier suggestions that most (80%) of this convergence is accommodated aseismically, i.e. that the subduction zone is uncou- pled. This conclusion is robust, even allowing for rare very large earthquakes on splay faults, such as that of AD 365, and also allowing for the contribution of small earthquakes. The downgoing Nubian plate deforms by arc-parallel contraction at all depths, from 200 km seaward of Crete to at least 100 km within the subducting slab. Extensional (T) axes of earthquakes are aligned down-dip within the descending slab suggesting that, even if the aseismic prolongation of the slab has reached the 670 km mantle discontinuity, it does not transmit stresses to shallower depths.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article has been accepted for publication in Geophysical Journal International © The Authors 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society.All rights reserved.
Uncontrolled Keywords: 09AREP; IA59;
Subjects: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Divisions: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Journal or Publication Title: Geophysical Journal International
Volume: 181
Page Range: pp. 966-984
Identification Number: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2010.04551.x
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2010 22:24
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2013 12:45
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/1311

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