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Journal of Geophysical Research 115 (2010) 02405
Source model of the 2007 Mw 8.0 Pisco, Peru earthquake: Implications for seismogenic behavior of subduction megathrusts
A. Sladen 1, H. Tavera 2, M. Simons 3, J. P. Avouac 1, A. O. Konca 3, H. Perfettini 4, L. Audin 5, 6, 7, E. J. Fielding 8, F. Ortega 3, R. Cavagnoud 9

We use Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar, teleseismic body waves, tsunami waveforms recorded by tsunameters, field observations of coastal uplift, subsidence, and runup to develop and test a refined model of the spatiotemporal history of slip during the Mw 8.0 Pisco earthquake of 15 August 2007. Our preferred solution shows two distinct patches of high slip. One patch is located near the epicenter while another larger patch ruptured 60 km further south, at the latitude of the Paracas peninsula. Slip on the second patch started 60 s after slip initiated on the first patch. We observed a remarkable anticorrelation between the coseismic slip distribution and the aftershock distribution determined from the Peruvian seismic network. The proposed source model is compatible with regional runup measurements and open ocean tsunami records. From the latter data set, we identified the 12 min timing error of the tsunami forecast system as being due to a mislocation of the source, caused by the use of only one tsunameter located in a nonoptimal azimuth. The comparison of our source model with the tsunami observations validate that the rupture did not extend to the trench and confirms that the Pisco event is not a tsunami earthquake despite its low apparent rupture velocity (<1.5 km/s). We favor the interpretation that the earthquake consists of two subevents, each with a conventional rupture velocity (2-4 km/s). The delay between the two subevents might reflect the time for the second shock to nucleate or, alternatively, the time it took for afterslip to increase the stress level on the second asperity to a level necessary for static triggering. The source model predicts uplift offshore and subsidence on land with the pivot line following closely the coastline. This pattern is consistent with our observation of very small vertical displacement along the shoreline when we visited the epicentral area in the days following the event. This earthquake represents, to our knowledge, one of the best examples of a link between the geomorphology of the coastline and the pattern of surface deformation induced by large interplate ruptures.
1 :  Tectonics Observatory
California Institute of Technology
2 :  Instituto Geofísico del Perú
Instituto Geofísico del Perú
3 :  Seismological Laboratory
California Institute of Technology
4 :  Laboratoire de géophysique interne et tectonophysique (LGIT)
CNRS : UMR5559 – Institut de recherche pour le développement [IRD] – LCPC – OSUG – INSU – Université de Savoie – Université Joseph Fourier - Grenoble I
5 :  IRD
Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées
6 :  Laboratoire des Mécanismes et Transfert en Géologie (LMTG)
CNRS : UMR5563 – Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées – Université Paul Sabatier (UPS) - Toulouse III – Institut de recherche pour le développement [IRD] : UMR154
7 :  Laboratoire de géodynamique des chaines alpines (LGCA)
CNRS : UMR5025 – OSUG – INSU – Université de Savoie – Université Joseph Fourier - Grenoble I
8 :  Jet Propulsion Laboratory [NASA] (JPL)
NASA – California Institute of Technology
9 :  Instituto Francés de Estudios Andinos
Instituto Francés de Estudios Andinos
Planète et Univers/Sciences de la Terre/Géophysique


Sciences de l'environnement/Milieux et Changements globaux
Pisco earthquake – source model