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Agosto de 2017
Triggering of volcanic eruptions by large earthquakes
Author: Takeshi Nishimura
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When a large earthquake occurs near an active volcano, there is often concern that volcanic eruptions may be triggered by the earthquake. In this study, recently accumulated, reliable data were analyzed to quantitatively evaluate the probability of the occurrence of new eruptions of volcanoes located near the epicenters of large earthquakes. For volcanoes located within 200 km of large earthquakes of magnitude 7.5 or

greater, the eruption occurrence probability increases by approximately 50% for 5 years after the earthquake origin time. However, no significant increase in the occurrence probability of new eruptions was observed at distant volcanoes or for smaller earthquakes. The present results strongly suggest that new eruptions are likely triggered by static stress changes and/or strong ground motions caused by nearby large earthquakes. This is not similar to the previously presented evidence that volcanic earthquakes at distant volcanoes are remotely triggered by surface waves generated by large earthquakes.

Agosto de 2017
A unified continental thickness from seismology and diamonds suggests a melt-defined plate
Authors: Saikiran Tharimena, Catherine Rychert et al.
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Thick, rigid continents move over the weaker underlying mantle, although geophysical and geochemical constraints on the exact thickness and defining mechanism of the continental plates are widely discrepant. Xenoliths suggest a chemical continental lithosphere ~175 kilometers thick, whereas seismic tomography supports a

much thicker root (>250 kilometers) and a gradual lithosphere-asthenosphere transition, consistent with a thermal definition. We modeled SS precursor waveforms from continental interiors and found a 7 to 9% velocity drop at depths of 130 to 190 kilometers. The discontinuity depth is well correlated with the origin depths of diamond-bearing xenoliths and corresponds to the transition from coarse to deformed xenoliths. At this depth, the xenolith-derived geotherm also intersects the carbonate-silicate solidus, suggesting that partial melt defines the plate boundaries beneath the continental interior.

Agosto de 2017
How “good” are real-time ground motion predictions from Earthquake Early Warning systems?
Author: Men-Andrin Meier
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Real-time ground motion alerts, as can be provided by Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) systems, need to be both timely and sufficiently accurate to be useful. Yet how timely and how accurate the alerts of existing EEW algorithms are is often poorly understood. In part, this is because EEW algorithm performance is usually evaluated not in terms of ground motion prediction accuracy and timeliness but in terms of other metrics (e.g., magnitude and location estimation errors), which do not directly reflect the usefulness of the alerts from an end user perspective. Here we attempt to

identify a suite of metrics for EEW algorithm performance evaluation that directly quantify an algorithm's ability to identify target sites that will experience ground motion above a critical (user-defined) ground motion threshold. We process 15,553 recordings from 238 earthquakes with M > 5 (mostly from Japan and southern California) in a pseudo-real-time environment and investigate two end-member EEW methods. We use the metrics to highlight both the potential and limitations of the two algorithms and to show under which circumstances useful alerts can be provided. Such metrics could be used by EEW algorithm developers to convincingly demonstrate the added value of new algorithms or algorithm components. They can complement existing performance metrics that quantify other relevant aspects of EEW algorithms (e.g., false event detection rates) for a comprehensive and meaningful EEW performance analysis.

Agosto de 2017
How variable is the number of triggered aftershocks?
Authors: D. Marsan and A. Helmstetter
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Aftershock activity depends at first order on the main shock magnitude but also shows important fluctuations between shocks of equal magnitude. We here investigate these fluctuations, by quantifying them and by relating them to the main shock stress drop and other variables, for

southern California earthquakes. A method is proposed in order to only count directly triggered aftershocks, rather than secondary aftershocks (i.e., triggered by previous aftershocks), and to only quantify fluctuations going beyond the natural Poisson variability. Testing of the method subjected to various model errors allows to quantify its robustness. It is found that these fluctuations follow a distribution that is well fitted by a lognormal distribution, with a coefficient of variation of about 1.0 to 1.1. A simple model is proposed to relate this observed dependence to main shock stress drop variability.

Agosto de 2017
A seismic shift in continental tectonic plates
Author: Brian Savage
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Continents have tolerated billions of years of tectonic stresses and disfigurement, yet they continue to survive. Compared with their oceanic counterpart, where a sinking demise is an almost certainty, continents and their internal cores, or cratons, are much thicker (>175 km), older (>2 billion years), colder, and more buoyant. However, their basic attributes, such as size and shape, are

a still a matter of debate because of large uncertainties in deceivingly straightforward, but entirely complicated, measurements. Continental cratons are rigid bodies composed of both crust and mantle, and their thickness was thought to be related to temperature and extend to depths of 250 to 350 km. On page 580 of this issue, Tharimena et al. (1) use reflections of seismic waves within the cratons to constrain their thickness globally. The strength of the reflections suggests that the base of the cratonic plate is defined by a partial melt of carbon-laced silicate mantle, not temperature.

Agosto de 2017
Triggering of volcanic eruptions by large earthquakes
Author: Takeshi Nishimura
Link: Click here

When a large earthquake occurs near an active volcano, there is often concern that volcanic eruptions may be triggered by the earthquake. In this study, recently accumulated, reliable data were analyzed to quantitatively evaluate the probability of the occurrence of new eruptions of volcanoes located near the epicenters of large earthquakes. For volcanoes located within 200

km of large earthquakes of magnitude 7.5 or greater, the eruption occurrence probability increases by approximately 50% for 5 years after the earthquake origin time. However, no significant increase in the occurrence probability of new eruptions was observed at distant volcanoes or for smaller earthquakes. The present results strongly suggest that new eruptions are likely triggered by static stress changes and/or strong ground motions caused by nearby large earthquakes. This is not similar to the previously presented evidence that volcanic earthquakes at distant volcanoes are remotely triggered by surface waves generated by large earthquakes.

Julio de 2017
Efficiency of coseismic ionospheric perturbations in identifying crustal deformation pattern: Case study based on Mw 7.3 May Nepal 2015 earthquake
Authors: Mala S. Bagiya, A. S. Sunil et al.
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The amplitude asymmetry and initial polarity of seismic induced ionospheric perturbations around the epicenter are considered to be important in providing information about the rupture propagation and related vertical surface deformation. To comprehend this, we study ionospheric perturbations related to the 12 May 2015, Mw 7.3 Nepal earthquake. We model the

coseismic slip associated with the event using the interferometric synthetic aperture radar derived surface deformation data. The ionospheric perturbations associated with the obtained surface deformation are explained in terms of rupture propagation, favorable geomagnetic field-wave coupling, and satellite geometry effects. We discuss the effects of phase cancelation on the perturbation evolution for various receiver satellite line-of-sight configurations invoking an elementary version of satellite geometry factor. The present study thus elucidates further the role of nontectonic forcing mechanisms while identifying ground source pattern using the associated ionospheric perturbations.

Julio de 2017
Seismic evidence for partial melting at the root of major hot spot plumes
Authors: Kaiqing Yuan and Barbara Romanowicz l et al.
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Ultralow-velocity zones are localized regions of extreme material properties detected seismologically at the base of Earth's mantle. Their nature and role in mantle dynamics are poorly understood. We used shear waves diffracted at the core-mantle boundary to

illuminate the root of the Iceland plume from different directions. Through waveform modeling, we detected a large ultralow-velocity zone and constrained its shape to be axisymmetric to a very good first order. We thus attribute it to partial melting of a locally thickened, denser- and hotter-than-average layer, reflecting dynamics and elevated temperatures within the plume root. Such structures are few and far apart, and they may be characteristic of the roots of some of the broad mantle plumes tomographically imaged within the large low-shear-velocity provinces in the lower mantle.

Julio de 2017
Searching for patterns in caldera unrest
Authors: Laura Sandri and Valerio Acocella.
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The ultimate goal of volcanology is forecasting eruptions. This task is particularly challenging at calderas, where unrest is frequent, affects wider areas and its evidence is often masked by the activity of hydrothermal systems. A recent study has compiled a database on caldera unrest, derived from seismicity, geodetic, gravity, and geochemical monitoring data at calderas worldwide, from 1988 to 2014. Here we exploit this database, searching for the most recurring features of unrest and, in turn, its possible dynamics. In particular, we focus on (a) the duration of unrest at calderas; (b) recurring patterns in unrest; (c) unrest episodes culminating in eruptions, including time-predictability or size-predictability and a

multivariate regression analysis. Our analysis indicates that preeruptive unrest is shorter than noneruptive unrest, particularly with open or semiplugged calderas, calderas with mafic or mixed composition of past eruptive products, or unrest driven by mafic magma; conversely, lack of data on preeruptive unrest driven by felsic magma and/or at felsic or plugged calderas prevents an analysis of these specific subsets. In addition, 72% of preeruptive unrest lasts <10 months and shows high seismicity and degassing. The remaining 28% (a) is essentially aseismic in calderas with open-conduit (17%), or (b) lasts between 10 and 18 months, with seismicity and degassing, constituting a longer-duration tail of the preeruptive unrest with seismicity and degassing (11%). Surface deformation is not always reliable to characterize preeruptive unrest. Our analysis suggests that magma may withstand only a limited period of “eruptability,” before becoming stored in the upper crust.

Julio de 2017
Source model for the Copahue volcano magma plumbing system constrained by InSAR surface deformation observations
Authors: Paul Lundgren, Mehdi Nikkhoo et al.
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Copahue volcano straddling the edge of the Agrio-Caviahue caldera along the Chile-Argentina border in the southern Andes has been in unrest since inflation began in late 2011. We constrain Copahue's source models with satellite and airborne interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) deformation observations. InSAR time series from descending track RADARSAT-2 and COSMO-SkyMed data span the entire inflation period from 2011 to 2016, with their initially high rates of 12 and 15 cm/yr, respectively, slowing only slightly despite ongoing small eruptions through 2016. InSAR ascending and descending track time series for the 2013–2016 time period

constrain a two-source compound dislocation model, with a rate of volume increase of 13 × 106 m3/yr. They consist of a shallow, near-vertical, elongated source centered at 2.5 km beneath the summit and a deeper, shallowly plunging source centered at 7 km depth connecting the shallow source to the deeper caldera. The deeper source is located directly beneath the volcano tectonic seismicity with the lower bounds of the seismicity parallel to the plunge of the deep source. InSAR time series also show normal fault offsets on the NE flank Copahue faults. Coulomb stress change calculations for right-lateral strike slip (RLSS), thrust, and normal receiver faults show positive values in the north caldera for both RLSS and normal faults, suggesting that northward trending seismicity and Copahue fault motion within the caldera are caused by the modeled sources. Together, the InSAR-constrained source model and the seismicity suggest a deep conduit or transfer zone where magma moves from the central caldera to Copahue's upper edifice.

Julio de 2017
Reawakening of large earthquakes in south central Chile: The 2016 Mw 7.6 Chiloé event
Authors: S. Ruiz, M. Moreno et al.
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On 25 December 2016, the Mw 7.6 Chiloé earthquake broke a plate boundary asperity in south central Chile near the center of the rupture zone of the Mw 9.5 Valdivia earthquake of 1960. To gain insight on decadal-scale deformation trends and their relation with the Chiloé earthquake, we combine geodetic, teleseismic, and regional seismological data. GPS velocities increased at continental scale after the 2010

Maule earthquake, probably due to a readjustment in the mantle flow and an apparently abrupt end of the viscoelastic mantle relaxation following the 1960 Valdivia earthquake. It also produced an increase in the degree of plate locking. The Chiloé earthquake occurred within the region of increased locking, breaking a circular patch of ~15 km radius at ~30 km depth, located near the bottom of the seismogenic zone. We propose that the Chiloé earthquake is a first sign of the seismic reawakening of the Valdivia segment, in response to the interaction between postseismic viscoelastic relaxation and changes of interseismic locking between Nazca and South America.

Julio de 2017
Efficiency of coseismic ionospheric perturbations in identifying crustal deformation pattern: Case study based on Mw 7.3 May Nepal 2015 earthquake
Authors: Masashi Kawamura and Kate Huihsuan Chen
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To explore where earthquakes tend to recur, we statistically investigated repeating earthquake catalogs and background seismicity from different regions (Parkfield, Hayward, Calaveras, and Chihshang Faults). We show that the location of repeating earthquakes can be mapped using the spatial distribution of the seismic a and b values

obtained from the background seismicity. Molchan's error diagram statistically confirmed that repeating earthquakes occur within areas with high a values (2.8–3.8) and high b values (0.9–1.1) on both strike-slip and thrust fault segments. However, no significant association held true for fault segments with more complicated geometry or for wider areas with a complex fault network. The productivity of small earthquakes responsible for high a and b values may thus be the most important factor controlling the location of repeating earthquakes. We inferred that the location of high creep rate in planar/listric fault structures might be indicated by a values of ~3 and b values of ~1.

Julio de 2017
Ionospheric anomalies immediately before Mw 7.0-8.0 earthquakes
Authors: Liming He and Kosuke Heki
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Recent observations suggested that ionospheric anomalies appear immediately before large earthquakes with moment magnitudes (Mw) of 8.2 or more. Do similar phenomena precede smaller earthquakes? Here we answer this question by analyzing vertical total electron contents (VTEC) observed near the epicenters before and after 32 earthquakes with Mw7.0-8.0 using data from nearby Global Navigation Satellite

System (GNSS) stations. To detect anomalies, we defined the reference curves to fit the observed VTEC, and considered the departure from the curves as anomalies. In estimating the reference curves, we excluded time windows, prescribed for individual earthquakes considering Mw, possibly affected by earthquakes. We validated the method using synthetic VTEC data assuming both pre-, co- and postseismic anomalies. Out of the 32 Mw7.0-8.0 earthquakes, 8 earthquakes showed possible preseismic anomalies starting 10-20 minutes before earthquakes. For earthquakes of this Mw range, we can observe preseismic ionospheric changes probably when the background VTEC is large, say 50 TECU or more.

Julio de 2017
Rapid transport of ash and sulfate from the 2011 Puyehue-Cordón Caulle (Chile) eruption to West Antarctica
Authors: Bess G. Koffman, Eleanor G. Dowd et al.
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The Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) 5 eruption of the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcanic complex (PCC) in central Chile, which began 4 June 2011, provides a rare opportunity to assess the rapid transport and deposition of sulfate and ash from a mid-latitude volcano to the Antarctic ice sheet. We present sulfate, microparticle concentrations of fine-grained (~5 μm diameter) tephra, and major oxide geochemistry, which document the depositional sequence of volcanic products from the PCC eruption in West Antarctic snow and shallow firn. From the depositional phasing and duration of ash and sulfate peaks, we infer that transport occurred primarily through the troposphere but that ash and sulfate transport

were decoupled. We use Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT) back-trajectory modeling to assess atmospheric circulation conditions in the weeks following the eruption, and find that conditions favored southward air parcel transport during 6-14 June and 4-18 July, 2011. We suggest that two discrete pulses of cryptotephra deposition relate to these intervals, and as such, constrain the sulfate transport and deposition lifespan to the ~2-3 weeks following the eruption. Finally, we compare PCC depositional patterns to those of prominent low- and high-latitude eruptions in order to improve multiparameter-based efforts to identify “unknown source” eruptions in the ice core record. Our observations suggest that mid-latitude eruptions such as PCC can be distinguished from explosive tropical eruptions by differences in ash/sulfate phasing and in the duration of sulfate deposition, and from high-latitude eruptions by differences in particle size distribution and in cryptotephra geochemical composition.

Junio de 2017
Integrated geophysical characteristics of the 2015 Illapel, Chile, earthquake
Authors: Matthew W. Herman, Jennifer L. Nealy et al.
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On 16 September 2015, a Mw 8.3 earthquake ruptured the subduction zone offshore of Illapel, Chile, generating an aftershock sequence with 14 Mw 6.0–7.0 events. A double source W phase moment tensor inversion consists of a Mw 7.2 subevent and the main Mw 8.2 phase. We determine two slip models for the mainshock, one using teleseismic broadband waveforms and the other using static GPS and InSAR surface displacements, which indicate high slip north of the epicenter and west-northwest of the epicenter near the oceanic trench. These models and slip distributions published in other studies suggest spatial slip uncertainties of ~25 km and have

peak slip values that vary by a factor of 2. We relocate aftershock hypocenters using a Bayesian multiple-event relocation algorithm, revealing a cluster of aftershocks under the Chilean coast associated with deep (20–45 km depth) mainshock slip. Less vigorous aftershock activity also occurred near the trench and along strike of the main aftershock region. Most aftershocks are thrust-faulting events, except for normal-faulting events near the trench. Coulomb failure stress change amplitudes and signs are uncertain for aftershocks collocated with deeper mainshock slip; other aftershocks are more clearly associated with loading from the mainshock. These observations reveal a frictionally heterogeneous interface that ruptured in patches at seismogenic depths (associated with many aftershocks) and with homogeneous slip (and few aftershocks) up to the trench. This event likely triggered seismicity separate from the main slip region, including along-strike events on the megathrust and intraplate extensional events.

Junio de 2017
Influences on the location of repeating earthquakes determined from a and b value imaging
Authors: Masashi Kawamura and Kate Huihsuan Chen et al.
Link: Click here

To explore where earthquakes tend to recur, we statistically investigated repeating earthquake catalogs and background seismicity from different regions (Parkfield, Hayward, Calaveras, and Chihshang Faults). We show that the location of repeating earthquakes can be mapped using the spatial distribution of the seismic a and b values

obtained from the background seismicity. Molchan's error diagram statistically confirmed that repeating earthquakes occur within areas with high a values (2.8–3.8) and high b values (0.9–1.1) on both strike-slip and thrust fault segments. However, no significant association held true for fault segments with more complicated geometry or for wider areas with a complex fault network. The productivity of small earthquakes responsible for high a and b values may thus be the most important factor controlling the location of repeating earthquakes. We inferred that the location of high creep rate in planar/listric fault structures might be indicated by a values of ~3 and b values of ~1.

Junio de 2017
A colossal impact enriched Mars' mantle with noble metals
Authors: R. Brasser and S. J. Mojzsis
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Once the terrestrial planets had mostly completed their assembly, bombardment continued by planetesimals left over from accretion. Highly siderophile element (HSE) abundances in Mars' mantle imply that its late accretion supplement was 0.8 wt %; Earth and the Moon obtained an additional 0.7 wt % and 0.02 wt %, respectively.

The disproportionately high Earth/Moon accretion ratio is explicable by stochastic addition of a few remaining Ceres-sized bodies that preferentially targeted Earth. Here we show that Mars' late accretion budget also requires a colossal impact, a plausible visible remnant of which is the emispheric dichotomy. The addition of sufficient HSEs to the Martian mantle entails an impactor of at least 1200 km in diameter to have struck Mars before ~4430 Ma, by which time crust formation was well underway. Thus, the dichotomy could be one of the oldest geophysical features of the Martian crust. Ejected debris could be the source material for its satellites.

 

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