The 2014 Juan Fernández microplate earthquake doublet: Evidence for large thrust faulting driven by microplate rotation
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Seismic doubletMoment tensorRupture directivityJuan Fernández microplate
Simone Cesca... [et al.]. The 2014 Juan Fernández microplate earthquake doublet: Evidence for large thrust faulting driven by microplate rotation, Tectonophysics, Volume 801, 2021, 228720, ISSN 0040-1951, [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tecto.2021.228720]
SponsorshipNational Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT -Becas Chile) 72180072; European Commission 754446; UGR Research and Knowledge Transfer Found -Athenea3i; German Research Foundation (DFG) 407141557 RI 2782/3-1
On October 9, 2014, a Mw 7.1–6.7 seismic doublet occurred at the Juan Fern´andez microplate, close to the triple junction with Pacific and Nazca plates. The Mw 7.1 earthquake is the largest earthquake ever to have been recorded in the region. Its thrust focal mechanism is also unusual for the region, although the northern part of the microplate is expected to undergo compression. The region is remote and seismological data is limited to a seismic station at ~600 km distance on Easter Island and teleseismic observations for the largest events. We use a combination of advanced seismological techniques to overcome the lack of local data and resolve earthquake source parameters for the doublet and its aftershock sequence, being able to reconstruct the chronology of the sequence and the geometry of affected fault segments. Our results depict a complex seismic sequence characterized by the interplay of thrust and strike-slip earthquakes along different structures, including a second, reversed strike slip-thrust seismic doublet in November 2014. Seismicity occurred within the microplate and only in the late part of the sequence migrated northward, towards the microplate boundary. The first largest doublet, whose rupture kinematic is well explained by stress changes imparted by the first subevent on the second one, may have activated unmapped E-W and NE-SW faults or an internal curved pseudofault, attributed to the longterm rotation of the microplate. Few large, thrust earthquakes are observed within the sequence, taking place in the vicinity of mapped compressional ridges. We suggest that compressional stresses in the northern part of the microplate and at its boundary are partially accommodated aseismically. However, the occasional occurrence of large, impulsive thrust earthquakes, with a considerable tsunamigenic potential, poses a relevant hazard for islands in the South Pacific region.