Research Article

Deformation and Slip Along the Sunda Megathrust in the Great 2005 Nias-Simeulue Earthquake

Science  31 Mar 2006:
Vol. 311, Issue 5769, pp. 1897-1901
DOI: 10.1126/science.1122602

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Abstract

Seismic rupture produced spectacular tectonic deformation above a 400-kilometer strip of the Sunda megathrust, offshore northern Sumatra, in March 2005. Measurements from coral microatolls and Global Positioning System stations reveal trench-parallel belts of uplift up to 3 meters high on the outer-arc islands above the rupture and a 1-meter-deep subsidence trough farther from the trench. Surface deformation reflects more than 11 meters of fault slip under the islands and a pronounced lessening of slip trenchward. A saddle in megathrust slip separates the northwestern edge of the 2005 rupture from the great 2004 Sumatra-Andaman rupture. The southeastern edge abuts a predominantly aseismic section of the megathrust near the equator.

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