Streaks of microearthquakes along creeping faults

Publication Year
1999
Abstract

Crustal faults that produce most of their slip aseismically typically generate large numbers of small earthquakes. These events have generally been interpreted as coming from localized patches of the fault that undergo unstable (stick–slip) sliding, surrounded by larger regions of stable sliding (creep). In published catalogues the microearthquakes often appear to be distributed over large portions of the fault surface. By accurately locating large numbers of microearthquakes from faults of different orientations in California and Hawaii, we show here that instead the locations define highly concentrated streaks that are characteristically aligned in the direction of fault slip. The underlying cause of this structural organization of the fault surface remains to be determined.

Volume
400
Issue
6745
Pages
635 - 641
Date Published
1999/08/01
ISBN
1476-4687
Short Title
Nature