The effect of plate-scale rheology and plate interactions on intraplate seismicity

Byung Dal So, Fabio A. Capitanio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

We use finite element modeling to investigate on the stress loading-unloading cycles and earthquakes occurrence in the plate interiors, resulting from the interactions of tectonic plates along their boundary. We model a visco-elasto-plastic plate embedding a single or multiple faults, while the tectonic stress is applied along the plate boundary by an external loading visco-elastic plate, reproducing the tectonic setting of two interacting lithospheres. Because the two plates deform viscously, the timescale of stress accumulation and release on the faults is self-consistently determined, from the boundary to the interiors, and seismic recurrence is an emerging feature. This approach overcomes the constraints on recurrence period imposed by stress (stress-drop) and velocity boundary conditions, while here it is unconstrained. We illustrate emerging macroscopic characteristics of this system, showing that the seismic recurrence period τ becomes shorter as Γ and Θ decreases, where Γ=ηIL, the viscosity ratio of the viscosities of the internal fault-embedded to external loading plates, respectively, and Θ=σYL the stress ratio of the elastic limit of the fault to far-field loading stress. When the system embeds multiple, randomly distributed faults, stress transfer results in recurrence period deviations, however the time-averaged recurrence period of each fault show the same dependence on Γ and Θ, illustrating a characteristic collective behavior. The control of these parameters prevails even when initial pre-stress was randomly assigned in terms of the spatial arrangement and orientation on the internal plate, mimicking local fluctuations. Our study shows the relevance of macroscopic rheological properties of tectonic plates on the earthquake occurrence in plate interiors, as opposed to local factors, proposing a viable model for the seismic behavior of continent interiors in the context of large-scale, long-term deformation of interacting tectonic plates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-131
Number of pages11
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Volume478
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2017

Keywords

  • bulk rheology of plates
  • earthquake dynamics
  • intraplate earthquake
  • New Madrid seismic zone
  • North China
  • recurrence interval

Cite this

@article{98e1be8721ae4d90b2a7b45e0cd0f963,
title = "The effect of plate-scale rheology and plate interactions on intraplate seismicity",
abstract = "We use finite element modeling to investigate on the stress loading-unloading cycles and earthquakes occurrence in the plate interiors, resulting from the interactions of tectonic plates along their boundary. We model a visco-elasto-plastic plate embedding a single or multiple faults, while the tectonic stress is applied along the plate boundary by an external loading visco-elastic plate, reproducing the tectonic setting of two interacting lithospheres. Because the two plates deform viscously, the timescale of stress accumulation and release on the faults is self-consistently determined, from the boundary to the interiors, and seismic recurrence is an emerging feature. This approach overcomes the constraints on recurrence period imposed by stress (stress-drop) and velocity boundary conditions, while here it is unconstrained. We illustrate emerging macroscopic characteristics of this system, showing that the seismic recurrence period τ becomes shorter as Γ and Θ decreases, where Γ=ηI/ηL, the viscosity ratio of the viscosities of the internal fault-embedded to external loading plates, respectively, and Θ=σY/σL the stress ratio of the elastic limit of the fault to far-field loading stress. When the system embeds multiple, randomly distributed faults, stress transfer results in recurrence period deviations, however the time-averaged recurrence period of each fault show the same dependence on Γ and Θ, illustrating a characteristic collective behavior. The control of these parameters prevails even when initial pre-stress was randomly assigned in terms of the spatial arrangement and orientation on the internal plate, mimicking local fluctuations. Our study shows the relevance of macroscopic rheological properties of tectonic plates on the earthquake occurrence in plate interiors, as opposed to local factors, proposing a viable model for the seismic behavior of continent interiors in the context of large-scale, long-term deformation of interacting tectonic plates.",
keywords = "bulk rheology of plates, earthquake dynamics, intraplate earthquake, New Madrid seismic zone, North China, recurrence interval",
author = "So, {Byung Dal} and Capitanio, {Fabio A.}",
year = "2017",
month = "11",
day = "15",
doi = "10.1016/j.epsl.2017.08.020",
language = "English",
volume = "478",
pages = "121--131",
journal = "Earth and Planetary Science Letters",
issn = "0012-821X",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

The effect of plate-scale rheology and plate interactions on intraplate seismicity. / So, Byung Dal; Capitanio, Fabio A.

In: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol. 478, 15.11.2017, p. 121-131.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The effect of plate-scale rheology and plate interactions on intraplate seismicity

AU - So, Byung Dal

AU - Capitanio, Fabio A.

PY - 2017/11/15

Y1 - 2017/11/15

N2 - We use finite element modeling to investigate on the stress loading-unloading cycles and earthquakes occurrence in the plate interiors, resulting from the interactions of tectonic plates along their boundary. We model a visco-elasto-plastic plate embedding a single or multiple faults, while the tectonic stress is applied along the plate boundary by an external loading visco-elastic plate, reproducing the tectonic setting of two interacting lithospheres. Because the two plates deform viscously, the timescale of stress accumulation and release on the faults is self-consistently determined, from the boundary to the interiors, and seismic recurrence is an emerging feature. This approach overcomes the constraints on recurrence period imposed by stress (stress-drop) and velocity boundary conditions, while here it is unconstrained. We illustrate emerging macroscopic characteristics of this system, showing that the seismic recurrence period τ becomes shorter as Γ and Θ decreases, where Γ=ηI/ηL, the viscosity ratio of the viscosities of the internal fault-embedded to external loading plates, respectively, and Θ=σY/σL the stress ratio of the elastic limit of the fault to far-field loading stress. When the system embeds multiple, randomly distributed faults, stress transfer results in recurrence period deviations, however the time-averaged recurrence period of each fault show the same dependence on Γ and Θ, illustrating a characteristic collective behavior. The control of these parameters prevails even when initial pre-stress was randomly assigned in terms of the spatial arrangement and orientation on the internal plate, mimicking local fluctuations. Our study shows the relevance of macroscopic rheological properties of tectonic plates on the earthquake occurrence in plate interiors, as opposed to local factors, proposing a viable model for the seismic behavior of continent interiors in the context of large-scale, long-term deformation of interacting tectonic plates.

AB - We use finite element modeling to investigate on the stress loading-unloading cycles and earthquakes occurrence in the plate interiors, resulting from the interactions of tectonic plates along their boundary. We model a visco-elasto-plastic plate embedding a single or multiple faults, while the tectonic stress is applied along the plate boundary by an external loading visco-elastic plate, reproducing the tectonic setting of two interacting lithospheres. Because the two plates deform viscously, the timescale of stress accumulation and release on the faults is self-consistently determined, from the boundary to the interiors, and seismic recurrence is an emerging feature. This approach overcomes the constraints on recurrence period imposed by stress (stress-drop) and velocity boundary conditions, while here it is unconstrained. We illustrate emerging macroscopic characteristics of this system, showing that the seismic recurrence period τ becomes shorter as Γ and Θ decreases, where Γ=ηI/ηL, the viscosity ratio of the viscosities of the internal fault-embedded to external loading plates, respectively, and Θ=σY/σL the stress ratio of the elastic limit of the fault to far-field loading stress. When the system embeds multiple, randomly distributed faults, stress transfer results in recurrence period deviations, however the time-averaged recurrence period of each fault show the same dependence on Γ and Θ, illustrating a characteristic collective behavior. The control of these parameters prevails even when initial pre-stress was randomly assigned in terms of the spatial arrangement and orientation on the internal plate, mimicking local fluctuations. Our study shows the relevance of macroscopic rheological properties of tectonic plates on the earthquake occurrence in plate interiors, as opposed to local factors, proposing a viable model for the seismic behavior of continent interiors in the context of large-scale, long-term deformation of interacting tectonic plates.

KW - bulk rheology of plates

KW - earthquake dynamics

KW - intraplate earthquake

KW - New Madrid seismic zone

KW - North China

KW - recurrence interval

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85031747392&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.epsl.2017.08.020

DO - 10.1016/j.epsl.2017.08.020

M3 - Article

VL - 478

SP - 121

EP - 131

JO - Earth and Planetary Science Letters

JF - Earth and Planetary Science Letters

SN - 0012-821X

ER -