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Finite element model predictions of static deformation from dislocation sources in a subduction zone: Sensitivities to homogeneous, isotropic, Poisson-solid, and half-space assumptions

January 1, 2003

Dislocation models can simulate static deformation caused by slip along a fault. These models usually take the form of a dislocation embedded in a homogeneous, isotropic, Poisson-solid half-space (HIPSHS). However, the widely accepted HIPSHS assumptions poorly approximate subduction zone systems of converging oceanic and continental crust. This study uses three-dimensional finite element models (FEMs) that allow for any combination (including none) of the HIPSHS assumptions to compute synthetic Green's functions for displacement. Using the 1995 Mw = 8.0 Jalisco-Colima, Mexico, subduction zone earthquake and associated measurements from a nearby GPS array as an example, FEM-generated synthetic Green's functions are combined with standard linear inverse methods to estimate dislocation distributions along the subduction interface. Loading a forward HIPSHS model with dislocation distributions, estimated from FEMs that sequentially relax the HIPSHS assumptions, yields the sensitivity of predicted displacements to each of the HIPSHS assumptions. For the subduction zone models tested and the specific field situation considered, sensitivities to the individual Poisson-solid, isotropy, and homogeneity assumptions can be substantially greater than GPS. measurement uncertainties. Forward modeling quantifies stress coupling between the Mw = 8.0 earthquake and a nearby Mw = 6.3 earthquake that occurred 63 days later. Coulomb stress changes predicted from static HIPSHS models cannot account for the 63-day lag time between events. Alternatively, an FEM that includes a poroelastic oceanic crust, which allows for postseismic pore fluid pressure recovery, can account for the lag time. The pore fluid pressure recovery rate puts an upper limit of 10-17 m2 on the bulk permeability of the oceanic crust. Copyright 2003 by the American Geophysical Union.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2003
Title Finite element model predictions of static deformation from dislocation sources in a subduction zone: Sensitivities to homogeneous, isotropic, Poisson-solid, and half-space assumptions
DOI 10.1029/2002JB002296
Authors Timothy Masterlark
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth
Series Number
Index ID 70025331
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center