Reconsidering earthquake scaling

Geophysical Research Letters
By: , and 



The relationship (scaling) between scalar moment, M0, and duration, T, potentially provides key constraints on the physics governing fault slip. The prevailing interpretation of M0-T observations proposes different scaling for fast (earthquakes) and slow (mostly aseismic) slip populations and thus fundamentally different driving mechanisms. We show that a single model of slip events within bounded slip zones may explain nearly all fast and slow slip M0-T observations, and both slip populations have a change in scaling, where the slip area growth changes from 2-D when too small to sense the boundaries to 1-D when large enough to be bounded. We present new fast and slow slip M0-T observations that sample the change in scaling in each population, which are consistent with our interpretation. We suggest that a continuous but bimodal distribution of slip modes exists and M0-T observations alone may not imply a fundamental difference between fast and slow slip.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Reconsidering earthquake scaling
Series title Geophysical Research Letters
DOI 10.1002/2016GL069967
Volume 43
Issue 12
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Contributing office(s) Earthquake Science Center
Description 9 p.
First page 6243
Last page 6251
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