Simultaneous Rupture Along Two Conjugate Planes of the Wharton Basin Earthquake

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Science  11 May 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5519, pp. 1145-1148
DOI: 10.1126/science.1059395

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Analysis of broadband teleseismic data shows that the 18 June 2000 Wharton Basin earthquake, a moment magnitude 7.8 intraplate event in the region of diffuse deformation separating the Indian and Australian plates, consisted of two subevents that simultaneously ruptured two near-conjugate planes. This mode of rupture accommodates shortening by a mechanism different from that previously known elsewhere in the region. The larger subevent occurred on a fossil fracture zone, with a relatively high stress drop of about 20 megapascals, showing that large stresses can accumulate in regions of distributed deformation.

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