The U.S. Geological Survey/National Earthquake Information Center (USGS/ NEIC) had computed origins for 5000 earthquakes in the Sumatra-Andaman Islands region in the first 36 weeks after the Sumatra-Andaman Islands mainshock of 26 December 2004. The cataloging of earthquakes of mb (USGS) 5.1 and larger is essentially complete for the time period except for the first half-day following the 26 December mainshock, a period of about two hours following the Nias earthquake of 28 March 2005, and occasionally during the Andaman Sea swarm of 26-30 January 2005. Moderate and larger (mb ???5.5) aftershocks are absent from most of the deep interplate thrust faults of the segments of the Sumatra-Andaman Islands subduction zone on which the 26 December mainshock occurred, which probably reflects nearly complete release of elastic strain on the seismogenic interplate-thrust during the mainshock. An exceptional thrust-fault source offshore of Banda Aceh may represent a segment of the interplate thrust that was bypassed during the mainshock. The 26 December mainshock triggered a high level of aftershock activity near the axis of the Sunda trench and the leading edge of the overthrust Burma plate. Much near-trench activity is intraplate activity within the subducting plate, but some shallow-focus, near-trench, reverse-fault earthquakes may represent an unusual seismogenic release of interplate compressional stress near the tip of the overriding plate. The interplate-thrust Nias earthquake of 28 March 2005, in contrast to the 26 December aftershock sequence, was followed by many interplate-thrust aftershocks along the length of its inferred rupture zone.
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Seismicity associated with the Sumatra-Andaman Islands earthquake of 26 December 2004