A spectral expansion approach for geodetic slip inversion: implications for the downdip rupture limits of oceanic and continental megathrust earthquakes

TitleA spectral expansion approach for geodetic slip inversion: implications for the downdip rupture limits of oceanic and continental megathrust earthquakes
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsXu X.H, Sandwell DT, Bassett D.
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Volume212
Pagination400-411
Date Published2018/01
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0956-540X
Accession NumberWOS:000417176000026
Keywords2015 gorkha earthquake; 7.1 hector mine; chile; coseismic deformation; Intra-plate processes; Inverse theory; Satellite geodesy; seismicity; subduction zone; sumatra-andaman earthquake; thermal constraints; thrust; Tohoku-oki
Abstract

We have developed a data-driven spectral expansion inversion method to place bounds on the downdip rupture depth of large megathrust earthquakes having good InSAR and GPS coverage. This inverse theory approach is used to establish the set of models that are consistent with the observations. In addition, the inverse theory method demonstrates that the spatial resolution of the slip models depends on two factors, the spatial coverage and accuracy of the surface deformation measurements, and the slip depth. Application of this method to the 2010 M-w 8.8 Maule Earthquake shows a slip maximum at 19 km depth tapering to zero at similar to 40 km depth. In contrast, the continent-continent megathrust earthquakes of the Himalayas, for example 2015 M-w 7.8 Gorkha Earthquake, shows a slip maximum at 9 km depth tapering to zero at similar to 18 km depth. The main question is why is the maximum slip depth of the continental megathrust earthquake only 50 per cent of that observed in oceanic megathrust earthquakes. To understand this difference, we have developed a simple 1-D heat conduction model that includes the effects of uplift and surface erosion. The relatively low erosion rates above the ocean megathrust results in a geotherm where the 450-600 degrees C transition is centred at similar to 40 km depth. In contrast, the relatively high average erosion rates in the Himalayas of similar to 1 mm yr-1 results in a geotherm where the 450-600 degrees C transition is centred at similar to 20 km. Based on these new observations and models, we suggest that the effect of erosion rate on temperature explains the difference in the maximum depth of the seismogenic zone between Chile and the Himalayas.

DOI10.1093/gji/ggx408
Student Publication: 
No