Constraints on Subduction Zone Coupling along the Philippine and Manila Trenches based on GPS and Seismological Data

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Michael W Hamburger1, Kaj M Johnson1, Martha Anna Elizabeth Nowicki1, Teresito Careso Bacolcol2, Renato Solidum Jr.2, Gerald Galgana3, Ya-Ju Hsu4, Shui-Beih Yu4, Ruey-Juin Rau5 and Robert McCaffrey6, (1)Indiana University Bloomington, Geological Sciences, Bloomington, IN, United States, (2)Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Quezon City, Philippines, (3)AIR-Worldwide Corporation, Boston, MA, United States, (4)Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, (5)NCKU National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan, (6)Portland State University, Department of Geology, Portland, OR, United States
We present results of two techniques to estimate the degree of coupling along the two major subduction zone boundaries that bound the Philippine Mobile Belt, the Philippine Trench and the Manila Trench. Convergence along these plate margins accommodates about 100 mm/yr of oblique plate motion between the Philippine Sea and Sundaland plates. The coupling estimates are based on a recently acquired set of geodetic data from a dense nationwide network of continuous and campaign GPS sites in the Philippines. First, we use a kinematic, elastic block model (tdefnode; McCaffrey, 2009) that combines existing fault geometries, GPS velocities and focal mechanism solutions to solve for block rotations, fault coupling, and intra-block deformation. Secondly, we use a plate-block kinematic model described in Johnson (2013) to simultaneously estimate long-term fault slip rates, block motions and interseismic coupling on block-bounding faults. The best-fit model represents the Philippine Mobile Belt by 14 independently moving rigid tectonic blocks, separated by active faults and subduction zones. The model predicts rapid convergence along the Manila Trench, decreasing progressively southwards, from > 100 mm/yr in the north to less than 20 mm/yr in the south at the Mindoro Island collision zone. Persistent areas of high coupling, interpreted to be asperities, are observed along the Manila Trench slab interface, in central Luzon (16-18°N) and near its southern and northern terminations. Along the Philippine Trench, we observe ~50 mm/yr of oblique convergence, with high coupling observed at its central and southern segments. We identify the range of allowable coupling distributions and corresponding moment accumulation rates on the two subduction zones by conducting a suite of inversions in which the total moment accumulation rate on a selected fault is fixed. In these constrained moment inversions we test the range of possible solutions that meet criteria for minimum, best-fit, and maximum coupling that still fit the data, based on reduced chi-squared calculations. In spite of the variable coupling, the total potential moment accumulation rate along each of the two subduction zones is estimated to range from 3.98 x 1019 to 2.24 x 1020 N-m yr-1, equivalent to a magnitude Mw 8.4 to 8.9 earthquake per 100 years.