Viscosity of Oceanic Asthenosphere Inferred from Remote Triggering of Earthquakes

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Science  22 May 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5367, pp. 1245-1249
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5367.1245

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A sequence of large interplate earthquakes from 1952 to 1965 along the Aleutian arc and Kurile-Kamchatka trench released accumulated stresses along nearly the entire northern portion of the Pacific Plate boundary. The postseismic stress evolution across the northern Pacific and Arctic basins, calculated from a viscoelastic coupling model with an asthenospheric viscosity of 5 × 1017 pascal seconds, is consistent with triggering of oceanic intraplate earthquakes, temporal patterns in seismicity at remote plate boundaries, and space-based geodetic measurements of anomalous velocity over an area 7000 by 7000 kilometers square during the 30-year period after the sequence.

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