Source mechanisms and rupture processes of the Jujuy seismic nest, Chile-Argentina border
MetadataShow full item record
Seismic nestIntermediate-deep earthquakesCluster analysis moment tensor inversion directivity analysis
C. Valenzuela-Malebrán... [et al.]. Source mechanisms and rupture processes of the Jujuy seismic nest, Chile-Argentina border, Journal of South American Earth Sciences, Volume 117, 2022, 103887, ISSN 0895-9811, [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsames.2022.103887]
SponsorshipNational Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (ANID-Becas Chile, Chile); European Unions Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant 754446; UGR Research and Knowledge Transfer FoundAthenea3i; German Research Foundation (DFG) 407141557
The Altiplano-Puna plateau, in Central Andes, is the second-largest continental plateau on Earth, extending between 22◦ and 27◦S at an average altitude of 4400 m. The Puna plateau has been formed in consequence of the subduction of the oceanic Nazca Plate beneath the continental South American plate, which has an average crustal thickness of 50 km at this location. A large seismicity cluster, the Jujuy cluster, is observed at depth of 150–250 km beneath the central region of the Puna plateau. The cluster is seismically very active, with hundreds of earthquakes reported and a peak magnitude MW 6.6 on 25th August 2006. The cluster is situated in one of three band of intermediate-depth focus seismicity, which extend parallel to the trench roughly North to South. It has been hypothesized that the Jujuy cluster could be a seismic nest, a compact seismogenic region characterized by a high stationary activity relative to its surroundings. In this study, we collected more than 40 years of data from different catalogs and proof that the cluster meets the three conditions of a seismic nest. Compared to other known intermediate depth nests at Hindu Kush (Afganisthan) or Bucaramanga (Colombia), the Jujuy nest presents an outstanding seismicity rate, with more than 100 M4+ earthquakes per year. We additionally performed a detailed analysis of the rupture process of some of the largest earthquakes in the nest, by means of moment tensor inversion and directivity analysis. We focused on the time period 2017–2018, where the seismic monitoring was the most extended. Our results show that earthquakes in the nest take place within the eastward subducting oceanic plate, but rupture along sub-horizontal planes dipping westward. We suggest that seismicity at Jujuy nest is controlled by dehydration processes, which are also responsible for the generation of fluids ascending to the crust beneath the Puna volcanic region. We use the rupture plane and nest geometry to provide a constraint to maximal expected magnitude, which we estimate as MW ~6.7.