Time-dependent Model of Aseismic slip on the Central San Andreas Fault from InSAR Time Series and Repeating Earthquakes

Monday, 15 December 2014: 5:30 PM
Mostafa Khoshmanesh1, Manoochehr Shirzaei1 and Robert M Nadeau2, (1)Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, United States, (2)University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, United States
The Central segment of the San Andreas Fault (CSAF) is characterized by a nearly continuous right-lateral aseismic slip. Geodetic observations of surface deformation along CSAF indicate interseismic strain accumulation with a rate of about 10 mm/yr. The creep rates obtained using Characteristic Repeating Earthquakes (CRE) show pulses of creep affecting most of the CSAF, suggesting spatiotemporal variability of seismic hazard. Therefore, a high resolution time-dependent model of creep on the CSAF can greatly enhance the knowledge of aseismic and seismic faulting processes as well as the seismic hazard estimates. 

We used InSAR surface deformation time series in conjunction with observations of fault creep obtained from CRE. The SAR data set includes C-band scenes acquired by the ERS-2 and Envisat during period 2003-2011, comprising 46 images, resulted in about 150 interferograms. Within the same observation period, the CRE data set includes more than 630 repeating sequences. Understanding the spatiotemporal distribution of creep, we implement a time-dependent modeling scheme, allowing us to jointly invert the surface deformation time series and CRE estimates of the fault creep.

The distribution of obtained creep rate on the CSAF includes features similar to that reported in earlier works. The map of long-term slip rate reveals that fastest creep rate occurs at the central part of CSAF with an average rate of 27 mm/yr, which is less than the long-term shearing rate. Moving northwestward, the slip rate gradually drops to less than half of its long-term rate. The spatiotemporal map of the creep includes unique features such as afterslip due to the 2004 Parkfield earthquake affecting the southeastern part of the CSAF and the clear evidence of creep pulsing along strike and depth of the CSAF with a period of 1.5 to 2 years. Considering 34.5 mm/yr as the long-term shearing rate, the zone of afterslip is characterized by relaxation time of about 16.35 years. The moment accumulation rate due to slip deficit is between 4.34 x 1017 and 4.51 x 1017 Nm/yr, which is equivalent to a magnitude 5.6-5.7 earthquake. Considering the contribution of afterslip due to the 2004 Parkfield earthquake in releasing the moment on the CSAF, the moment deficit drops to between 3.62 x 1017 and 3.82 x 1017 Nm/yr, equivalent to a magnitude 5.6 earthquake.