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The Aftershock Signature of Supershear Earthquakes

Abstract : Recent studies show that earthquake faults may rupture at speeds exceeding the shear wave velocity of rocks. This supershear rupture produces in the ground a seismic shock wave similar to the sonic boom produced by a supersonic airplane. This shock wave may increase the destruction caused by the earthquake. We report that supershear earthquakes are characterized by a specific pattern of aftershocks: The fault plane itself is remarkably quiet whereas aftershocks cluster off the fault, on secondary structures that are activated by the supershear rupture. The post-earthquake quiescence of the fault shows that friction is relatively uniform over supershear segments, whereas the activation of off-fault structures is explained by the shock wave radiation, which produces high stresses over a wide zone surrounding the fault.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-00332509
Contributor : Pascale Talour <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, October 21, 2008 - 10:22:50 AM
Last modification on : Friday, September 25, 2020 - 3:13:42 AM

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Michel Bouchon, H. Karabulut. The Aftershock Signature of Supershear Earthquakes. Science - http://science.sciencemag.org, New York, N.Y. : [s.n.] 1880-, 2008, 320 (6), pp.1323 à 1325. ⟨10.1126/science.1155030⟩. ⟨insu-00332509⟩

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