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Breaking the oceanic lithosphere of a subducting slab: the 2013 Khash, Iran earthquake

Geophysical Research Letters

By:
, , , ,
DOI: 10.1002/2013GL058096

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Abstract

[1] Large intermediate depth, intraslab normal faulting earthquakes are a common, dangerous, but poorly understood phenomenon in subduction zones owing to a paucity of near field geophysical observations. Seismological and high quality geodetic observations of the 2013 Mw7.7 Khash, Iran earthquake reveal that at least half of the oceanic lithosphere, including the mantle and entire crust, ruptured in a single earthquake, confirming with unprecedented resolution that large earthquakes can nucleate in and rupture through the oceanic mantle. A rupture width of at least 55‚ÄČkm is required to explain both InSAR observations and teleseismic waveforms, with the majority of slip occurring in the oceanic mantle. Combining our well-constrained earthquake slip distributions with the causative fault orientation and geometry of the local subduction zone, we hypothesize that the Khash earthquake likely occurred as the combined result of slab bending forces and dehydration of hydrous minerals along a preexisting fault formed prior to subduction.

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Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Breaking the oceanic lithosphere of a subducting slab: the 2013 Khash, Iran earthquake
Series title:
Geophysical Research Letters
DOI:
10.1002/2013GL058096
Volume
41
Issue:
1
Year Published:
2014
Language:
English
Publisher:
Wiley
Contributing office(s):
Geologic Hazards Science Center
Description:
5 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
32
Last page:
36
Country:
Iran