8:30am - 8:45amTopics: 3.20 Multiscale Investigations of Convergent Margins: Unraveling Subduction Dynamics from Kinematic Transitions to Metamorphic Reactions
Megathrust stress drop as trigger of aftershock seismicity in subduction zone forearcs: Insights from the 2011 Mw 9.0 Tohoku earthquake, Japan
1Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany; 2Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany; 3GFZ Potsdam, Germany
Large megathrust earthquakes like the 2011 Mw 9.0 Tohoku earthquake (Japan) are followed by numerous aftershocks in the subduction zone forearc overlying the seismogenic fault. The aftershocks in the forearc can include normal-faulting events despite the thrust mechanism of the main shock. Postseismic normal faulting has been explained by stress changes induced by the coseismic stress drop along the megathrust. However, details of stress changes in the forearc and aftershock triggering mechanisms remain poorly constrained. Here we use numerical force-balance models combined with Coulomb failure analysis to show that the megathrust stress drop indeed supports normal faulting, but that forearc-wide triggering of aftershocks is feasible within a narrow range of megathrust stress-drop values and forearc stress states only [for details see Dielforder et al., 2023]. We determine this range for the Tohoku earthquake and show that the associated stress changes explain the aftershock seismicity in unprecedented detail. In particular, our analysis reveals that ~78% of the aftershocks and ~92% of the seismic moment release occurred in areas where the Tohoku earthquake caused a stress increase, and that the detailed aftershock distribution was also governed by spatial variability in fault strength and forearc topography. Our findings provide new insights into aftershock triggering and help to understand where aftershocks occur after great earthquakes at subduction zones.
Dielforder, A., Bocchini, G. M., Kemna, K., Hampel, A., Harrington, R. M., & Oncken, O. (2023). Megathrust stress drop as trigger of aftershock seismicity: Insights from the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, Japan. Geophysical Research Letters, 50, e2022GL101320. https://doi.org/10.1029/2022GL101320
8:45am - 9:00amTopics: 3.20 Multiscale Investigations of Convergent Margins: Unraveling Subduction Dynamics from Kinematic Transitions to Metamorphic Reactions
Distribution, duration and size of slow-slip events in the eastern Mediterranean: insights from the Hellenic subduction system
1Technical University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany; 2National Observatory of Athens, Athens, Greece; 3GFZ Potsdam, Germany; 4University of West Attica, Athens, Greece; 5University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand; 6Ruhr University Bochum, Bochum, Germany; 7Technical University of Crete, Chania, Greece
Slow-slip events (SSEs), although widely recorded in various convergent margins globally, only recently have been reported in the Eastern Mediterranean, with one of them triggering the 2018 ~M7 Zakynthos Earthquake along the western Hellenic Subduction System (HSS). Here, we explore the distribution, size and duration of SSEs along the HSS and assess their importance in subduction-related strain accumulation and release. To achieve this, we analyse geodetic timeseries from a dense network of permanent GNSS stations on Western Peloponnese, Crete and surrounding islands that collectively span a time-period of ~10 years. We use greedy linear regression techniques to estimate displacement trajectory models for each station and thus we identify transient displacement signals, associated with aseismic processes at depth. To further constrain the spatial extent and size of the SSEs we invert the GNSS transient displacements for variable distributed slip at depth and we, therefore, discuss likely scenarios of aseismic and seismic strain distribution (and partitioning) within the HSS’s complex plate-interface zone.
9:15am - 9:45am Invited Session KeynoteTopics: 3.20 Multiscale Investigations of Convergent Margins: Unraveling Subduction Dynamics from Kinematic Transitions to Metamorphic Reactions
Transition from Subduction to Strike-slip: Insights from a well-expressed example in central New Zealand
1GEOMAR; 2Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel; 3University of Texas Institute for Geophysics
Central New Zealand (southern North Island/northern South Island) occupies a complex transition from subduction to strike-slip at the southern termination of the Hikurangi subduction zone. This transition was also the site of the 2016 M7.8 Kaikoura earthquake, which is the most complex earthquake ever recorded, involving rupture of over a dozen faults. I will discuss how this transition from subduction to strike-slip occurs, through a joint interpretation of geologic and geodetic data. Approximately 2 cm/yr of convergence is accommodated at the Hikurangi Trough offshore the southern North Island, which decreases rapidly southward offshore the northern South Island (to a few mm/yr), where the majority of the relative plate motion is transferred onto strike-slip faults within the upper plate. This transfer of slip is facilitated via easterly-trending strike-slip faults (such as the Boo Boo fault in Cook Strait). Although the shallow megathrust offshore the northeastern South Island accommodates low rates of convergence, kinematic models based on geodetic data indicate that a large component of relative plate motion must be accommodated on the subduction interface at depth, down-dip of the major upper plate faults. This, along with geodetic evidence for interseismic coupling on the subduction interface beneath the northeastern South Island has implications for the potential southward extent of subduction interface earthquake rupture in central New Zealand. InSAR and GNSS evidence for large amounts of afterslip on the subduction interface following the Kaikoura earthquake also indicates the subduction zone continues as an important boundary well into the northern South Island.
9:45am - 10:00amTopics: 3.20 Multiscale Investigations of Convergent Margins: Unraveling Subduction Dynamics from Kinematic Transitions to Metamorphic Reactions
Effects of an oblique collision on the evolution of foreland basins: Insights from 3D numerical modeling
1Institute of Applied Geosciences, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany; 2Institute of Geophysics, ETH Zürich, Switzerland; 3GFZ Potsdam, Germany
Flexural bending of a downgoing subducting plate in response to forces from slab pull and topographic load leads to foreland basin development in front of growing mountain belts. Many foreland basins worldwide show along-strike variable basin architecture and subsidence history. Various factors such as lateral variations in slab pull, the presence of lateral crustal heterogeneity, slab breakoff and tear propagation have been suggested as drivers. However, the effects of an oblique continental collision on the evolution of foreland basins are largely ignored. In this study, we use 3D thermo-mechanical numerical models coupled with surface processes (i.e., sedimentation and erosion) to simulate an oblique collision. In the initial model, the continental plate margin is placed at an oblique angle relative to the subduction trench and we vary the following parameters: (1) margin obliquity, (2) convergence velocity, (3) age of the subducting oceanic lithosphere, and (4) presence of pre-existing rigid blocks in the subducting plate. Our results show that models with no obliquity (i.e., straight continental margin) create simultaneous along-strike continental collision and foreland basin subsidence. However, higher margin obliquity (≥ 15° ) causes a delay in the along-strike collision and foreland basin development. Our results suggest that the along-strike propagation of foreland basin development is controlled by the initial margin obliquity and plate convergence velocity. Finally, we discuss the implications of our study on the 3D evolution of the Northern Alpine Foreland Basin (NAFB) and intramountain basins within the Betics where along-strike variations of the sedimentary basin architecture are reported.