ABSTRACT

The 2015 Fillmore swarm occurred about 6 km west of the city of Fillmore in Ventura, California, and was located beneath the eastern part of the actively subsiding Ventura basin at depths from 11.8 to 13.8 km, similar to two previous swarms in the area. Template‐matching event detection showed that it started on 5 July 2015 at 2:21 UTC with an M∼1.0 earthquake. The swarm exhibited unusual episodic spatial and temporal migrations and unusual diversity in the nodal planes of the focal mechanisms as compared to the simple hypocenter‐defined plane. It was also noteworthy because it consisted of >1400 events of M≥0.0, with M 2.8 being the largest event. We suggest that fluids released by metamorphic dehydration processes, migration of fluids along a detachment zone, and cascading asperity failures caused this prolific earthquake swarm, but other mechanisms (such as simple mainshock–aftershock stress triggering or a regional aseismic creep event) are less likely. Dilatant strengthening may be a mechanism that causes the temporal decay of the swarm as pore‐pressure drop increased the effective normal stress, and counteracted the instability driving the swarm.

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