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Science. 2004 Nov 12;306(5699):1164-6. Epub 2004 Oct 21.

Earth tides can trigger shallow thrust fault earthquakes.

Author information

1
Department of Earth and Space Sciences and Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA. cochran@moho.ess.ucla.edu

Abstract

We show a correlation between the occurrence of shallow thrust earthquakes and the occurrence of the strongest tides. The rate of earthquakes varies from the background rate by a factor of 3 with the tidal stress. The highest correlation is found when we assume a coefficient of friction of mu = 0.4 for the crust, although we see good correlation for mu between 0.2 and 0.6. Our results quantify the effect of applied stress on earthquake triggering, a key factor in understanding earthquake nucleation and cascades whereby one earthquake triggers others.

PMID:
15498971
DOI:
10.1126/science.1103961
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