Special Research Articles

Earth's Free Oscillations Excited by the 26 December 2004 Sumatra-Andaman Earthquake

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Science  20 May 2005:
Vol. 308, Issue 5725, pp. 1139-1144
DOI: 10.1126/science.1112305

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At periods greater than 1000 seconds, Earth's seismic free oscillations have anomalously large amplitude when referenced to the Harvard Centroid Moment Tensor fault mechanism, which is estimated from 300- to 500-second surface waves. By using more realistic rupture models on a steeper fault derived from seismic body and surface waves, we approximated free oscillation amplitudes with a seismic moment (6.5 × 1022 Newton·meters) that corresponds to a moment magnitude of 9.15. With a rupture duration of 600 seconds, the fault-rupture models represent seismic observations adequately but underpredict geodetic displacements that argue for slow fault motion beneath the Nicobar and Andaman islands.

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