Abstract

Four major earthquakes of Ms>7.0 occurred in the Tibetan Plateau during the last decade. They were the 2001 Ms 8.1 Kunlun Mountains (Hoh Xil) earthquake in Qinghai, the 2008 Ms 7.3 Yutian earthquake in Xinjiang, the 2008 Ms 8.0 Wenchuan earthquake in Sichuan, and the 2010 Ms 7.1 Yushu earthquake in Qinghai. All four occurred in relative proximity to the Bayankala block. By the integration of coseismic effects and viscoelastic relaxations, we studied the stress interactions among those four earthquakes. Then, the epidemic‐type aftershock sequence (ETAS) model and stochastic declustering method were used to detect the local seismic signals of each succeeding major earthquake. This analysis considered increases or decreases with the Coulomb failure stress (CFS) variations induced by its preceding major earthquakes. The results showed that the stress interactions among these four major earthquakes are too weak to trigger each other and that the preceding major earthquakes did not obviously impact the local seismicity of the succeeding major earthquakes. It demonstrates that the occurrences of these four major earthquakes that clustered around the Bayankala block might not have been caused by the triggering effects. Instead these might have resulted from the southeastward movement of the Bayankala block, which related to the compression and penetration of the Indian–Australian Plate into the Eurasian Plate.

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