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12 May 2008 M = 7.9 Wenchuan, China, earthquake calculated to increase failure stress and seismicity rate on three major fault systems

Geophysical Research Letters

By:
, , ,
DOI: 10.1029/2008GL034903

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Abstract

The Wenchuan earthquake on the Longmen Shan fault zone devastated cities of Sichuan, claiming at least 69,000 lives. We calculate that the earthquake also brought the Xianshuihe, Kunlun and Min Jiang faults 150-400 km from the mainshock rupture in the eastern Tibetan Plateau 0.2-0.5 bars closer to Coulomb failure. Because some portions of these stressed faults have not ruptured in more than a century, the earthquake could trigger or hasten additional M > 7 earthquakes, potentially subjecting regions from Kangding to Daofu and Maqin to Rangtag to strong shaking. We use the calculated stress changes and the observed background seismicity to forecast the rate and distribution of damaging shocks. The earthquake probability in the region is estimated to be 57-71% for M ??? 6 shocks during the next decade, and 8-12% for M ??? 7 shocks. These are up to twice the probabilities for the decade before the Wenchuan earthquake struck. Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
12 May 2008 M = 7.9 Wenchuan, China, earthquake calculated to increase failure stress and seismicity rate on three major fault systems
Series title:
Geophysical Research Letters
DOI:
10.1029/2008GL034903
Volume
35
Issue:
17
Year Published:
2008
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article