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The Impact of Large Erosional Events and Transient Normal Stress Changes on the Seismicity of Faults

Abstract : The long‐term erosion of steep landscapes is punctuated by dramatic erosional events that can remove significant amount of sediments within a time‐scale shorter than a seismic cycle. However, the role of such large erosional events on seismicity is poorly understood. We use QDYN, a quasi‐dynamic numerical model of earthquake cycles to investigate the effect of a large erosional event on seismicity. The progressive evacuation of landslide sediments is modelled by a transient normal stress decrease. We show that erosional events with a shorter duration compared with the duration of a seismic cycle can significantly increase the seismicity rate, even for small stress changes. Moreover, large erosional events with a shorter period compared with the earthquake nucleation time‐scale can change earthquake size distribution by triggering more small events. Those results suggest that large erosional events can significantly affect seismicity, illustrating in turn the short‐term impact of surface processes on tectonics.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, November 18, 2020 - 11:03:46 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, June 2, 2022 - 2:48:17 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, February 19, 2021 - 6:54:26 PM


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Louise Jeandet Ribes, N. Cubas, H. Bhat, Philippe Steer. The Impact of Large Erosional Events and Transient Normal Stress Changes on the Seismicity of Faults. Geophysical Research Letters, 2020, 47 (22), pp.e2020GL087631. ⟨10.1029/2020GL087631⟩. ⟨insu-03011622v1⟩



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