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Science. 2006 Jun 30;312(5782):1921-6.

Frictional afterslip following the 2005 Nias-Simeulue earthquake, Sumatra.

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  • 1Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.


Continuously recording Global Positioning System stations near the 28 March 2005 rupture of the Sunda megathrust [moment magnitude (Mw) 8.7] show that the earthquake triggered aseismic frictional afterslip on the subduction megathrust, with a major fraction of this slip in the up-dip direction from the main rupture. Eleven months after the main shock, afterslip continues at rates several times the average interseismic rate, resulting in deformation equivalent to at least a M(w) 8.2 earthquake. In general, along-strike variations in frictional behavior appear to persist over multiple earthquake cycles. Aftershocks cluster along the boundary between the region of coseismic slip and the up-dip creeping zone. We observe that the cumulative number of aftershocks increases linearly with postseismic displacements; this finding suggests that the temporal evolution of aftershocks is governed by afterslip.

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