Redistribution of dynamic stress during coseismic ruptures: Evidence for fault interaction and earthquake triggering.
Belardinelli, ME; Cocco, M; Coutant, O; Cotton, F.
JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-SOLID EARTH, 104: (B7) 14925-14945.
We investigate the spatiotemporal evolution of dynamic stress outside a rupturing extended fault. The dynamic stress variations caused by a coseismic rupture in a half space are computed by using the discrete wavenumber and reflectivity methods. After a transient phase, the stress time history evolves to the final static stress value. We compare the static stress changes resulting from this model with those computed from a static dislocation model. We have applied this method to study the interactions between the first two normal faults which ruptured during the 1980 (M-S 6.9) Irpinia earthquake. These two subevents are separated in time by nearly 20 s, while the third (and last) subevent occurred 40 s after the rupture onset. We compute the dynamic stress changes caused by the rupture of the first subevent. Our modeling results show that the dynamic stress peak on the second subevent fault plane is reached between 7 s and 8 s after the rupture initiation on the main fault. On the average the static stress level on the second subevent (20 s) fault plane is reached nearly after 14 s. The dynamic rupture did not jump from a rupturing segment to the adjacent one immediately, but the triggering of the 20 s subevent is delayed by roughly 10 s with respect to the instant of occurrence of the dynamic stress peak induced by the 0 s event. The dynamic stress pulse propagates along the strike direction of the second subevent fault plane at an average velocity of nearly 3.4 km/s. The delayed triggering of the second subevent can be interpreted in terms of the frictional properties of the faults. In particular, rate- and state-dependent frictional law can explain a delayed instability after a sudden change in stress. Using the estimated values of the subevent triggering delay and the shear stress change, we attempt to constrain the parameter A sigma on the 20 s fault. The values here inferred agree well with those resulting from previous studies.