Fault mechanics and post-seismic deformation at Bam, SE Iran

Wimpenny, Sam and Copley, Alex and Ingleby, Tom (2017) Fault mechanics and post-seismic deformation at Bam, SE Iran. Geophysical Journal International, 209 (2). pp. 1018-1035. ISSN 0956-540X DOI 10.1093/gji/ggx065

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Official URL: http://doi.org/10.1093/gji/ggx065

Abstract

The extent to which aseismic deformation relaxes co-seismic stress changes on a fault zone is fundamental to assessing the future seismic hazard following any earthquake, and in understanding the mechanical behaviour of faults. Here we use models of stress-driven afterslip and viscoelastic relaxation, in conjunction with post-seismic InSAR measurements, to show that there has been minimal release of co-seismic stress changes through post-seismic deformation following the 2003 Mw 6.6 Bam earthquake. Our analysis indicates the faults at Bam remain predominantly locked, suggesting that the co- plus interseismically accumulated elastic strain stored downdip of the 2003 rupture patch may be released in a future Mw 6 earthquake. Our observations and models also provide an opportunity to probe the growth of topography at Bam. We find that, for our modelled afterslip distribution to be consistent with forming the sharp step in the local topography over repeated earthquake cycles, and also to be consistent with the geodetic observations, requires either (1) far-field tectonic loading equivalent to a 2–10 MPa deviatoric stress acting across the fault system, which suggests it supports stresses 60–100 times less than classical views of static fault strength, or (2) that the fault surface has some form of mechanical anisotropy, potentially related to corrugations on the fault plane, that controls the sense of slip.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2017AREP; IA72;
Subjects: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Divisions: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
08 - Green Open Access
Journal or Publication Title: Geophysical Journal International
Volume: 209
Page Range: pp. 1018-1035
Identification Number: 10.1093/gji/ggx065
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 05 May 2017 13:08
Last Modified: 11 May 2017 14:57
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/3965

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