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Triggered Aseismic Fault Slip from Nearby Earthquakes, Static or Dynamic Effect?

Wen-xuan Du, Lynn Sykes, Bruce E. Shaw, & Christopher Scholz

Published February 2003, SCEC Contribution #699

Observations show that an earthquake can affect aseismic slip behavior of nearby faults and produce “triggered aseismic fault slip.” Two types of stress changes are often examined by researchers as possible triggering sources. One is the static stress change associated with the faulting process and the other is the dynamic stress change or transient deformation generated by the passage of seismic waves. No consensus has been reached, however, regarding the mechanism(s) of triggered aseismic fault slip. We evaluate the possible triggering role of static stress changes by examining observations made after 10 large earthquakes in California. Most of the nearby fault segments that slipped aseismically were encouraged to move by the imposed positive changes in static Coulomb Failure Stress (CFS). Nonetheless, three discrepancies or failures with this model exist, which implies that static stress triggering either is or is not the sole mechanism causing the observed triggered slip. We then use a spring-slider system as a simplified fault model to study its slip behavior and the impact of transient (dynamic) loading on it. We show that a two-state-variable rate-dependent and state-dependent frictional law can generate creep events. Transient loads are then put into the system. Certain types of them can cause a large time advance of (or trigger) the next creep event. While our work examines triggered creep events near the surface, it may well have implications for the occurrence of similar events near the bottom of the seismogenic zone where a transition in frictional stability occurs.

Du, W., Sykes, L., Shaw, B. E., & Scholz, C. (2003). Triggered Aseismic Fault Slip from Nearby Earthquakes, Static or Dynamic Effect?. Journal of Geophysical Research, 108(B2), 2131. doi: 10.1029/2002JB002008.