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Source parameters and tectonic origin of the 1996 June 1 Tianzhu (Mw=5.2) and 1995 July 21 Yongden (Mw=5.6) earthquakes near the Haiyuan fault (Gansu, China)

Abstract : The 1996 June 1 Tianzhu (Mw=5.2, Ms=4.9) and the 1995 July 21 Yongden (Mw=5.6, Ms=5.4) earthquakes are the two largest events recorded in the last 10 years between the 1990 October 20 Ms=5.8 and the recent 2000 June 6 Ms=5.6 earthquakes near the `Tianzhu seismic gap' on the Haiyuan fault in northeastern Tibet. We use frequency-time analysis (FTAN) to extract the fundamental modes of Love and Rayleigh waves from digital records. A joint inversion of their amplitude spectra and of P-wave first-motion polarities is then performed to calculate the source parameters (focal mechanisms, depths and seismic moments) of these two Ms~=5 earthquakes. Such a joint inversion is tested for the first time. We use IRIS and GEOSCOPE network records for period ranges of 20-40s for the former event and 35-70s for the latter. The inversion of the Tianzhu earthquake yields nodal planes with strike, dip and slip of 282°, 72° and 3° and 191°, 87° and 162°, respectively, a focal depth around 12km and a seismic moment of 0.56×1017Nm, consistent with the Harvard CMT calculation, and the alignment and depths of the aftershocks recorded by a local network. We propose two possible tectonic interpretations for this off-fault event. The solution for the Yongden earthquake is consistent with a thrust, with strike, dip and slip of 105°, 45° and 75°, respectively, a focal depth around 6km and a seismic moment of 2.4×1017Nm, also in agreement with the Harvard CMT mechanism, the distribution of the aftershocks recorded by a regional network, and the general tectonic setting that we refine.
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C. Lasserre, B. Bukchin, P. Bernard, P. Tapponnier, Y. Gaudemer, et al.. Source parameters and tectonic origin of the 1996 June 1 Tianzhu (Mw=5.2) and 1995 July 21 Yongden (Mw=5.6) earthquakes near the Haiyuan fault (Gansu, China). Geophysical Journal International, 2001, 144, pp.206-220. ⟨10.1046/j.0956-540X.2001.00313.x⟩. ⟨insu-03597767⟩

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