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Segmentation of transform systems on the East Pacific Rise; implications for earthquake processes at fast-slipping oceanic transform faults

Patricia M. Gregg, Jian Lin and Deborah K. Smith
Segmentation of transform systems on the East Pacific Rise; implications for earthquake processes at fast-slipping oceanic transform faults
Geology (Boulder) (April 2006) 34 (4): 289-292

Abstract

Seven of the eight transform systems along the equatorial East Pacific Rise from 12 degrees N to 15 degrees S have undergone extension due to reorientation of plate motions and have been segmented into two or more strike-slip fault strands offset by intratransform spreading centers (ITSCs). Earthquakes recorded along these transform systems both teleseismically and hydroacoustically suggest that segmentation geometry plays an important role in how slip is accommodated at oceanic transforms. Results of thermal calculations suggest that the thickness of the brittle layer of a segmented transform fault could be significantly reduced by the thermal effect of ITSCs. Consequently, the potential rupture area, and thus maximum seismic moment, is decreased. Using Coulomb static stress models, we illustrate that long ITSCs will prohibit static stress interaction between transform segments and limit the maximum possible magnitude of earthquakes on a given transform system. Furthermore, transform earthquakes may have the potential to trigger seismicity on normal faults flanking ITSCs.


ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Coden: GLGYBA
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 34
Serial Issue: 4
Title: Segmentation of transform systems on the East Pacific Rise; implications for earthquake processes at fast-slipping oceanic transform faults
Affiliation: Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Ocanographic Institution, Joint Program in Oceanography, Woods Hole, MA, United States
Pages: 289-292
Published: 200604
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 24
Accession Number: 2006-035343
Categories: Solid-earth geophysics
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sketch map
S10°00'00" - N10°00'00", W112°00'00" - W100°00'00"
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 200619
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