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La Recherchev2

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Seismicity, deformation and seismic hazard in the western rift of Corinth: New insights from the Corinth Rift Laboratory (CRL)


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Titre de la revue : Tectonophysics Volume : 426 N° : 1-2 Pagination : 7-30 Date de publication : 30/10/2006

Résumé

This paper presents the main recent results obtained by the seismological and geophysical monitoring arrays in operation in the rift of Corinth, Greece. The Corinth Rift Laboratory (CRL) is set up near the western end of the rift, where instrumental seismicity and strain rate is highest. The seismicity is clustered between 5 and 10 km, defining an active layer, gently dipping north, on which the main normal faults, mostly dipping north, are rooting. It may be interpreted as a detachment zone, possibly related to the Phyllade thrust nappe. Young, active normal faults connecting the Aigion to the Psathopyrgos faults seem to control the spatial distribution of the microseismicity. This seismic activity is interpreted as a seismic creep from GPS measurements, which shows evidence for fast continuous slip on the deepest part on the detachment zone. Offshore, either the shallowest part of the faults is creeping, or the strain is relaxed in the shallow sediments, as inferred from the large NS strain gradient reported by GPS. The predicted subsidence of the central part of the rift is well fitted by the new continuous GPS measurements. The location of shallow earthquakes (between 5 and 3.5 km in depth) recorded on the on-shore Helike and Aigion faults are compatible with 50° and 60° mean dip angles, respectively. The offshore faults also show indirect evidence for high dip angles. This strongly differs from the low dip values reported for active faults more to the east of the rift, suggesting a significant structural or rheological change, possibly related to the hypothetical presence of the Phyllade nappe. Large seismic swarms, lasting weeks to months, seem to activate recent synrift as well as pre-rift faults. Most of the faults of the investigated area are in their latest part of cycle, so that the probability of at least one moderate to large earthquake (M = 6 to 6.7) is very high within a few decades. Furthermore, the region west to Aigion is likely to be in an accelerated state of extension, possibly 2 to 3 times its mean interseismic value. High resolution strain measurement, with a borehole dilatometer and long base hydrostatic tiltmeters, started end of 2002. A transient strain has been recorded by the dilatometer, lasting one hour, coincident with a local magnitude 3.7 earthquake. It is most probably associated with a slow slip event of magnitude around 5 ± 0.5. The pore pressure data from the 1 km deep AIG10 borehole, crossing the Aigion fault at depth, shows a 1 MPa overpressure and a large sensitivity to crustal strain changes.