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The isolated similar to 680 km deep 30 May 2015 M-w 7.9 Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands earthquake

TitleThe isolated similar to 680 km deep 30 May 2015 M-w 7.9 Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands earthquake
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsYe L.L, Lay T., Zhan Z.W, Kanamori H., Hao J.L
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Date Published2016/01
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0012-821X
Accession NumberWOS:000367120300018
Keywords8.3 sea; beneath; bolivian; deep earthquakes; earthquake; focus earthquakes; june 9; lzu-Bonin slab; mantle; mechanism; okhotsk earthquake; phase-transformations; rupture; rupture process; slab deformation; transformational faulting

Deep-focus earthquakes, located in very high-pressure conditions 300 to 700 km below the Earth's surface within sinking slabs of relatively cold oceanic lithosphere, are mysterious phenomena. The largest recorded deep-focus earthquake (M-w 7.9) in the Izu-Bonin slab struck on 30 May 2015 beneath the Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands, isolated from prior seismicity by over 100 km in depth, and followed by only a few small aftershocks. Globally, this is the deepest (680 km centroid depth) event with Mw >= 7.8 in the seismological record. Seismicity indicates along-strike contortion of the Izu-Bonin slab, with horizontal flattening near a depth of 550 km in the Izu region and rapid steepening to near-vertical toward the south above the location of the 2015 event. This event was exceptionally well-recorded by seismic stations around the world, allowing detailed constraints to be placed on the source process. Analyses of a large global data set of P, SH and pP seismic phases using short-period back-projection, subevent directivity, and broadband finite-fault inversion indicate that the mainshock ruptured a shallowly-dipping fault plane with patchy slip that spread over a distance of similar to 40 km with a multi-stage expansion rate (similar to 5+ km/s down-dip initially, 3 km/s up-dip later). During the 17 s total rupture duration the radiated energy was similar to 3.3 x 10(16) J and the stress drop was similar to 38 MPa. The radiation efficiency is moderate (034), intermediate to that of the 1994 Bolivia and 2013 Sea of Okhotsk Mw 83 deep earthquakes, indicating that source processes of very large deep earthquakes sample a wide range of behavior from dissipative, more viscous failure to very brittle failure. The isolated occurrence of the event, much deeper than the apparently thermally-bounded distribution of Bonin-slab seismicity above 600 km depth, suggests that localized stress concentration associated with the pronounced deformation of the lzu-Bonin slab and proximity to the 660-km phase transition likely played a dominant role in generating this major earthquake. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Short TitleEarth Planet. Sci. Lett.
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