Triggering effect of M 4-5 earthquakes on the earthquake cycle of repeating events at Parkfield, California

Kate Huihsuan Chen, Roland Bürgmann, Robert M. Nadeau

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Stress perturbations influence earthquake recurrence and are of funda-mental importance to understanding the earthquake cycle and determining earthquake hazard. The large population of repeating earthquakes on the San Andreas fault at Parkfield, California, provides a unique opportunity to examine the response of the repeating events to the occurrence of moderate earthquakes. Using 187 M 0:4 to ~1:7 repeating earthquake sequences from the High Resolution Seismic Network cat-alog, we find that the time to recurrence of repeating events subsequent to nearby M 4-5 earthquakes is shortened, suggesting triggering by major events. The triggering effect is found to be most evident within a distance of ~5 km, corresponding to static coseismic stress changes of >0:6 26:6 kPa, and decays with distance. We also find coherently reduced recurrence intervals from 1993 to 1998. This enduring recurrence acceleration over several years reflects accelerated fault slip and thus loading rates during the early 1990s.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)522-531
Number of pages10
JournalBulletin of the Seismological Society of America
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Apr 1


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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