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Stress loading history of earthquake faults influenced by fault/shear zone geometry and Coulomb pre-stress

Sgambato, C; Walker, JPF; Mildon, ZK; Roberts, GP; (2020) Stress loading history of earthquake faults influenced by fault/shear zone geometry and Coulomb pre-stress. Scientific Reports , 10 , Article 12724. 10.1038/s41598-020-69681-w. Green open access

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Abstract

Whether the stress-loading of faults to failure in earthquakes appears to be random or to an extent explainable, given constraints on fault/shear-zone interaction and the build-up and release of stress over many earthquake cycles, is a key question for seismic hazard assessment. Here we investigate earthquake recurrence for a system of 25 active normal faults arranged predominantly along strike from each other, allowing us to isolate the effects of stress-loading due to regional strain versus across- and along-strike fault interaction. We calculate stress changes over 6 centuries due to interseismic loading and 25 > Mw 5.5 earthquakes. Where only one fault exists across strike, stress-loading is dominated by the regional tectonics through slip on underlying shear zones and fault planes have spatially smooth stress with predominantly time-dependent stress increase. Conversely, where faults are stress-loaded by across-strike fault interactions, fault planes have more irregular stress patterns and interaction-influenced stress loading histories. Stress-loading to failure in earthquakes is not the same for all faults and is dependent on the geometry of the fault/shear-zone system.

Type: Article
Title: Stress loading history of earthquake faults influenced by fault/shear zone geometry and Coulomb pre-stress
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-69681-w
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-69681-w
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: Natural hazards, Solid Earth sciences
UCL classification: UCL
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/10111661
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