Active And Long-Lived Permanent Forearc Deformation Driven By The Subduction Seismic Cycle

dc.contributor.authorAron Melo, Felipe Alejandroen_US
dc.contributor.chairAllmendinger, Richard Waldronen_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberIngraffea, Anthony Ren_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberPritchard, Matthewen_US
dc.description.abstractI have used geological, geophysical and engineering methods to explore mechanisms of upper plate, brittle deformation at active forearc regions. My dissertation particularly addresses the permanent deformation style experienced by the forearc following great subduction ruptures, such as the 2010 Mw8.8 Maule, Chile and 2011 Mw9.0 Tohoku, Japan earthquakes. These events triggered large, shallow seismicity on upper plate normal faults above the rupture reaching Mw7.0. First I present new structural data from the Chilean Coastal Cordillera over the rupture zone of the Maule earthquake. The study area contains the Pichilemu normal fault, which produced the large crustal aftershocks of the megathrust event. Normal faults are the major neotectonic structural elements but reverse faults also exist. Crustal seismicity and GPS surface displacements show that the forearc experiences pulses of rapid coseismic extension, parallel to the heave of the megathrust, and slow interseismic, convergence-parallel shortening. These cycles, over geologic time, build the forearc structural grain, reactivating structures properly-oriented respect to the deformation field of each stage of the interplate cycle. Great subduction events may play a fundamental role in constructing the crustal architecture of extensional forearc regions. Static mechanical models of coseismic and interseismic upper plate deformation are used to explore for distinct features that could result from brittle fracturing over the two stages of the interplate cycle. I show that the semi-elliptical outline of the first-order normal faults along the Coastal Cordillera may define the location of a characteristic, long-lived megathrust segment. Finally, using data from the Global CMT catalog I analyzed the seismic behavior through time of forearc regions that have experienced great subduction ruptures >Mw7.7 worldwide. Between 61% and 83% of the cases where upper plate earthquakes exhibited periods of increased seismicity above background levels occurred contemporaneous to megathrust ruptures. That correlation is stronger for normal fault events than reverse or strike-slip crustal earthquakes. More importantly, for any given megathrust the summation of the Mw accounted by the forearc normal fault aftershocks appears to have a positive linear correlation with the Mw of the subduction earthquake - the larger the megathrust the larger the energy released by forearc events.en_US
dc.identifier.otherbibid: 8793312
dc.subjectSubduction seismic cycleen_US
dc.subjectPermanent forearc deformationen_US
dc.subject2010 Maule earthquakeen_US
dc.titleActive And Long-Lived Permanent Forearc Deformation Driven By The Subduction Seismic Cycleen_US
dc.typedissertation or thesisen_US Sciences Universityen_US of Philosophy D., Geological Sciences


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