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Nonvolcanic Tremor Evolution and the San Simeon and Parkfield, California, Earthquakes

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Science  10 Jul 2009:
Vol. 325, Issue 5937, pp. 191-193
DOI: 10.1126/science.1174155

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Abstract

Nonvolcanic tremors occur adjacent to locked faults and may be closely related to the generation of earthquakes. Monitoring of the San Andreas Fault in the Parkfield, California, region revealed that after two strong earthquakes, tremor activity increased in a nearly dormant tremor zone, increased and became periodic in a previously active zone, and has remained elevated and periodic for over 4 years. Static shear- and Coulomb-stress increases of 6 to 14 kilopascals from these two earthquakes are coincident with sudden increases in tremor rates. The persistent changes in tremor suggest that stress is now accumulating more rapidly beneath this part of the San Andreas Fault, which ruptured in the moment magnitude 7.8 Ft. Tejon earthquake of 1857.

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