Does Long-Term GPS in the Western Alps Finally Confirm Earthquake Mechanisms?

Abstract : The availability of GPS survey data spanning 22 years, along with several independent velocity solutions including up to 16 years of permanent GPS data, presents a unique opportunity to search for persistent (and thus reliable) deformation patterns in the Western Alps, which in turn allow a reinterpretation of the active tectonics of this region. While GPS velocities are still too uncertain to be interpreted on an individual basis, the analysis of range‐perpendicular GPS velocity profiles clearly highlights zones of extension in the center of the belt (15.3 to 3.1 nanostrain/year from north to south), with shortening in the forelands. The contrasting geodetic deformation pattern is coherent with earthquake focal mechanisms and related strain/stress patterns over the entire Western Alps. The GPS results finally provide a reliable and robust quantification of the regional strain rates. The observed vertical motions of 2.0 to 0.5 mm/year of uplift from north to south in the core of the Western Alps is interpreted to result from buoyancy forces related to postglacial rebound, erosional unloading, and/or viscosity anomalies in the crustal and lithospheric root. Spatial decorrelation between vertical and horizontal (seismicity related) deformation calls for a combination of processes to explain the complex present‐day dynamics of the Western Alps.
Type de document :
Article dans une revue
Tectonics, American Geophysical Union (AGU), 2018, 37 (10), pp.3721-3737. 〈10.1029/2018TC005054〉
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Soumis le : jeudi 10 janvier 2019 - 11:12:34
Dernière modification le : samedi 12 janvier 2019 - 01:03:37


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A. Walpersdorf, Louis Pinget, Philippe Vernant, C. Sue, A. Deprez. Does Long-Term GPS in the Western Alps Finally Confirm Earthquake Mechanisms?. Tectonics, American Geophysical Union (AGU), 2018, 37 (10), pp.3721-3737. 〈10.1029/2018TC005054〉. 〈hal-01976644〉



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