Post seismic response of repeating aftershocks

Schaff, David P.; Beroza, Gregory C.; Shaw, Bruce E.

The recurrence intervals of repeating earthquakes on the San Andreas Fault in the Loma Prieta aftershock zone follow the characteristic 1/t decay of Omori's law. A model in which these earthquakes occur on isolated patches of the fault that fail in stick-slip with creep around them can explain this observation. In this model the recurrence interval is inversely proportional to the loading rate due to creep. Logarithmic velocity strengthening friction predicts 1/t decay in creep rate following the mainshock. The time dependence of recurrence is inconsistent with a simple viscous constitutive relationship, which predicts an exponential decay of loading rate. Thus, our observations imply postseismic slip at seismogenic depth under a power law rheology. The time dependence of postseismic deformation measured geodetically may be diagnostic of whether postseismic deformation is caused by creep or possible viscoelastic deformation at greater depths.



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Geophysical Research Letters

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