Earthquake ground surface ruptures provide insights into faulting mechanics and inform seismic hazard analyses. We analyze surface ruptures for 11 historical (1968–2018) moment magnitude (Mw) 4.7–6.6 reverse earthquakes in Australia using statistical techniques and compare their characteristics with magnetic, gravity, and stress trajectory data sets. Of the total combined (summative) length of all surface ruptures (∼148 km), 133 km (90%) to 145 km (98%) align with the geophysical structure in the host basement rocks. Surface rupture length (SRL), maximum displacement (MD), and probability of surface rupture at a specified Mw are high compared with equivalent Mw earthquakes globally. This is attributed to (1) a steep cratonic crustal strength gradient at shallow depths, promoting shallow hypocenters (∼1–6 km) and limiting downdip rupture widths (∼1–8.5 km), and (2) favorably aligned crustal anisotropies (e.g., bedrock foliations, faults, fault intersections) that enhanced lateral rupture propagation and/or surface displacements. Combined (modeled and observed) MDs are in the middle third of the SRL with 68% probability and either the ≤33rd or ≥66th percentiles of SRL with 16% probability. MD occurs proximate to or directly within zones of enhanced fault geometric complexity (as evidenced from surface ruptures) in 8 of 11 earthquakes (73%). MD is approximated by 3.3 ± 1.6 (1σ) × AD (average displacement). S-transform analyses indicates that high-frequency slip maxima also coincide with fault geometric complexities, consistent with stress amplifications and enhanced slip variability due to geometric and kinematic interactions with neighboring faults. Rupture slip taper angles exhibit large variations (−90% to +380% with respect to the mean value) toward rupture termini and are steepest where ruptures terminate at obliquely oriented magnetic lineaments and/or lithology changes. Incremental slip approximates AD between the 10th and 90th percentiles of the SRL. The average static stress drop of the studied earthquakes is 4.8 ± 2.8 MPa. A surface rupture classification scheme for cratonic stable regions is presented to describe the prevailing characteristics of intraplate earthquakes across diverse crustal structural-geophysical settings. New scaling relationships and suggestions for logic tree weights are provided to enhance probabilistic fault displacement hazard analyses for bedrock-dominated intraplate continental regions.

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