The 2010 Mw 8.8 Maule Megathrust Earthquake of Central Chile, Monitored by GPS

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Science  17 Jun 2011:
Vol. 332, Issue 6036, pp. 1417-1421
DOI: 10.1126/science.1204132

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Large earthquakes produce crustal deformation that can be quantified by geodetic measurements, allowing for the determination of the slip distribution on the fault. We used data from Global Positioning System (GPS) networks in Central Chile to infer the static deformation and the kinematics of the 2010 moment magnitude (Mw) 8.8 Maule megathrust earthquake. From elastic modeling, we found a total rupture length of ~500 kilometers where slip (up to 15 meters) concentrated on two main asperities situated on both sides of the epicenter. We found that rupture reached shallow depths, probably extending up to the trench. Resolvable afterslip occurred in regions of low coseismic slip. The low-frequency hypocenter is relocated 40 kilometers southwest of initial estimates. Rupture propagated bilaterally at about 3.1 kilometers per second, with possible but not fully resolved velocity variations.

  • Servicio Sismologico Nacional team.

  • Laboratoire International Associé Montessus de Ballore postseismic team.

  • § Central and Southern Andes GPS Project team.

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