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Seismic versus aseismic deformation in Iran inferred from earthquakes and geodetic data

Abstract : A combined analysis of the geodetic strain-rate field and the strain-rate field deduced from the seismicity allows us to define the style of deformation and to distinguish seismic from aseismic deformation. We perform this analysis in Iran where the present-day tectonics results from the north–south convergence between the plates of Arabia to the south and Eurasia to the north. The data consist of velocities measured with a GPS network of 28 benchmarks and of instrumental and historical earthquake catalogues. The axes of the seismic strain-rate tensor have similar orientations to those deduced from the GPS velocity field. This indicates that the seismicity can be used to improve GPS information on the style and the orientation of the deformation. Comparison of seismic and geodetic strain rates indicates that highly strained zones experience mainly aseismic deformation in southern Iran and seismic deformation in northern Iran. A large contrast is observed between the Zagros (less than 5 per cent seismic deformation) and the Alborz–Kopet-Dag regions (more than 30–100 per cent seismic deformation). The distribution of the seismic/geodetic ratio correlates with the distribution of large earthquakes: intensive, low-magnitude seismicity is observed in the Zagros whereas the largest earthquakes occur in northern Iran. The contrast of seismic deformation between the Zagros and peri-Caspian mountains is confirmed considering 300 or 1000 yr of seismicity rather than 100 or 200 yr.
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Submitted on : Friday, February 19, 2021 - 11:36:19 AM
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J.P. Masson, J. Chery, Denis Hatzfeld, J. Martinod, P. Vernant, et al.. Seismic versus aseismic deformation in Iran inferred from earthquakes and geodetic data. Geophysical Journal International, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2005, 160 (1), pp.217-226. ⟨10.1111/j.1365-246X.2004.02465.x⟩. ⟨insu-00272330⟩



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