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Coulomb pre-stress and fault bends are ignored yet vital factors for earthquake triggering and hazard

Mildon, ZK; Roberts, GP; Walker, JPF; Toda, S; (2019) Coulomb pre-stress and fault bends are ignored yet vital factors for earthquake triggering and hazard. Nature Communications , 10 , Article 2744. 10.1038/s41467-019-10520-6. Green open access

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Abstract

Successive locations of individual large earthquakes (Mw > 5.5) over years to centuries can be difficult to explain with simple Coulomb stress transfer (CST) because it is common for seismicity to circumvent nearest-neighbour along-strike faults where coseismic CST is greatest. We demonstrate that Coulomb pre-stress (the cumulative CST from multiple earthquakes and interseismic loading on non-planar faults) may explain this, evidenced by study of a 667-year historical record of earthquakes in central Italy. Heterogeneity in Coulomb pre-stresses across the fault system is >±50 bars, whereas coseismic CST is <±2 bars, so the latter will rarely overwhelm the former, explaining why historical earthquakes rarely rupture nearest neighbor faults. However, earthquakes do tend to occur where the cumulative coseismic and interseismic CST is positive, although there are notable examples where earthquake propagate across negatively stressed portions of faults. Hence Coulomb pre-stress calculated for non-planar faults is an ignored yet vital factor for earthquake triggering.

Type: Article
Title: Coulomb pre-stress and fault bends are ignored yet vital factors for earthquake triggering and hazard
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-10520-6
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-10520-6
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Multidisciplinary Sciences, Science & Technology - Other Topics, STATIC STRESS, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, DEFORMATION RATES, SEISMIC SEQUENCE, LAZIO-ABRUZZO, SLIP-RATE, APENNINES, SENSITIVITY, KINEMATICS, GEOMETRY
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Earth Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Inst for Risk and Disaster Reduction
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10080219
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