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  • Publication Date: 2017-01-11
    Description: Subduction earthquakes are the most powerful naturally occurring terrestrial processes often resulting in catastrophic fatality counts and decimation of human infrastructure. Over the past decades, great efforts have been undertaken to improve the understanding of the subduction earthquake physics. The Integrated Plate Boundary Observatory in Chile (IPOC) is a multi-instrument network installed in 2007 in the Northern Chile Seismic Gap, where a large magnitude earthquake was expected soon. On April 1st 2014, a portion of the IPOC-monitored region broke, producing the Mw 8.1 Iquique earthquake. In the year leading up to this event, IPOC’s instruments captured some unusual transient seismic and geodetic signals, resulting in a unique dataset recording the preparatory phase of a large earthquake. We combined IPOC data with satellite radar interferometry (InSAR) data to analyze not only the earthquake itself but also the interseismic phase and a detailed foreshock series before the main event. We found that the earthquake ruptured a zone on the plate interface that was highly locked before the earthquake. Additionally, we were able to characterize the aseismic (silent) slip that occurred in the two weeks leading up to the event by combining seismic and geodetic data. Application of these analyses in real-time might enable geoscientists to identify runaway processes that can precede large subduction earthquakes.
    Language: German
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