Inferred Rheology and Petrology of Southern California and Northwest Mexico Mantle from Postseismic Deformation following the 2010 El Mayor-Cucapah Earthquake
Thursday, 17 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
The Mw 7.2 El Mayor-Cucapah (EMC) earthquake ruptured a ~120 km long series of faults striking northwest from the Gulf of California to the Sierra Cucapah. Five years after the EMC event, a dense network of GPS stations in southern California and a sparse array of sites installed after the earthquake in northern Mexico measure ongoing surface deformation as coseismic stresses relax. We use 3D finite element models of seismically inferred crustal and mantle structure with earthquake slip constrained by GPS, InSAR range change and SAR and SPOT image sub-pixel offset measurements to infer the rheologic structure of the region. Model complexity, including 3D Moho structure and distinct geologic regions such as the Peninsular Ranges and Salton Trough, enable us to explore vertical and lateral heterogeneities of crustal and mantle rheology. We find that postseismic displacements can be explained by relaxation of a laterally varying, stratified rheologic structure controlled by temperature and crustal thickness. In the Salton Trough region, particularly large postseismic displacements require a relatively weak mantle column that weakens with depth, consistent with a strong but thin (22 km thick) crust and high regional temperatures. In contrast, beneath the neighboring Peninsular Ranges a strong, thick (up to 35 km) crust and cooler temperatures lead to a rheologically stronger mantle column. Thus, we find that the inferred rheologic structure corresponds with observed seismic structure and thermal variations. Significant afterslip is not required to explain postseismic displacements, but cannot be ruled out. Combined with isochemical phase diagrams, our results enable us to go beyond rheologic structure and infer some basic properties about the regional mantle, including composition, water content, and the degree of partial melting.