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Splay fault triggering by great subduction earthquakes inferred from finite element models

  • We have investigated the influence that megathrust earthquake slip has on the activation of splay faults using a 2-D finite element method (FEM), taking into account the effects of gravity and variations in the frictional strength properties of splay faults. We simulated both landward-dipping and seaward-dipping splay fault geometries, and imposed depth-variable slip distributions of subduction events. Our results indicate that the two types of splay fault exhibit a similar behavior, with variations in frictional properties along the faults affecting only the seismic magnitude. The triggering process is controlled by a critical depth. Megathrust slip concentrated at depths shallower than the critical depth will favor normal displacement, while megathrust slip concentrated at depths deeper than the critical depth is likely to result in reverse motion. Our results thus provide a useful tool for predicting the activation of secondary faults and may have direct implications for tsunami hazard research.

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Author:Shaoyang Li, Marcos Moreno, Matthias Rosenau, Daniel MelnickORCiDGND, Onno Oncken
ISSN:0094-8276 (print)
ISSN:1944-8007 (online)
Parent Title (English):Geophysical research letters
Publisher:American Geophysical Union
Place of publication:Washington
Document Type:Article
Year of first Publication:2014
Year of Completion:2014
Release Date:2017/03/27
Tag:FEM models; earthquake deformation; faulting behavior; splay faults; subduction zone earthquakes; tsunami hazards
First Page:385
Last Page:391
Funder:China Scholarships Council [201206040055]; German Science Foundation (DFG) [MO 2310/1-1, ME 3157/2-2]
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Erd- und Umweltwissenschaften
Peer Review:Referiert