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Limits of the seismogenic zone in the epicentral region of the 26 December 2004 great Sumatra-Andaman earthquake: Results from seismic refraction and wide-angle reflection surveys and thermal modeling

Abstract : The 26 December 2004 Sumatra earthquake (Mw = 9.1) initiated around 30 km depth and ruptured 1300 km of the Indo‐Australian–Sunda plate boundary. During the Sumatra‐OBS (ocean bottom seismometer) survey, a wide‐angle seismic profile was acquired across the epicentral region. A seismic velocity model was obtained from combined travel time tomography and forward modeling. Together with reflection seismic data from the SeaCause II cruise, the deep structure of the source region of the great earthquake is revealed. Four to five kilometers of sediments overlie the oceanic crust at the trench, and the subducting slab can be imaged down to a depth of 35 km. We find a crystalline backstop 120 km from the trench axis, below the fore‐arc basin. A high‐velocity zone at the lower landward limit of the ray‐covered domain, at 22 km depth, marks a shallow continental Moho, 170 km from the trench. The deep structure obtained from the seismic data was used to construct a thermal model of the fore arc in order to predict the limits of the seismogenic zone along the plate boundary fault. Assuming 100°–150°C as its updip limit, the seismogenic zone is predicted to begin 5–30 km from the trench. The downdip limit of the 2004 rupture as inferred from aftershocks is within the 350°–450°C temperature range, but this limit is 210–250 km from the trench axis and is much deeper than the fore‐arc Moho. The deeper part of the rupture occurred along the contact between the mantle wedge and the downgoing plate.
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Frauke Klingelhoefer, Marc-André Gutscher, S. Ladage, J.-X. Dessa, David Graindorge, et al.. Limits of the seismogenic zone in the epicentral region of the 26 December 2004 great Sumatra-Andaman earthquake: Results from seismic refraction and wide-angle reflection surveys and thermal modeling. Journal of Geophysical Research : Solid Earth, American Geophysical Union, 2010, 115, pp.B01304. ⟨10.1029/2009JB006569⟩. ⟨insu-00452634⟩

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