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Fluid-faulting interactions: Fracture-mesh and fault-valve behavior in the February 2014 Mammoth Mountain, California, earthquake swarm

January 1, 2015

Faulting and fluid transport in the subsurface are highly coupled processes, which may manifest seismically as earthquake swarms. A swarm in February 2014 beneath densely monitored Mammoth Mountain, California, provides an opportunity to witness these interactions in high resolution. Toward this goal, we employ massive waveform-correlation-based event detection and relative relocation, which quadruples the swarm catalog to more than 6000 earthquakes and produces high-precision locations even for very small events. The swarm's main seismic zone forms a distributed fracture mesh, with individual faults activated in short earthquake bursts. The largest event of the sequence, M 3.1, apparently acted as a fault valve and was followed by a distinct wave of earthquakes propagating ~1 km westward from the updip edge of rupture, 1–2 h later. Late in the swarm, multiple small, shallower subsidiary faults activated with pronounced hypocenter migration, suggesting that a broader fluid pressure pulse propagated through the subsurface.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2015
Title Fluid-faulting interactions: Fracture-mesh and fault-valve behavior in the February 2014 Mammoth Mountain, California, earthquake swarm
DOI 10.1002/2015GL064325
Authors David R. Shelly, Taka’aki Taira, Stephanie Prejean, David P. Hill, Douglas S. Dreger
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Geophysical Research Letters
Index ID 70187041
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Volcano Science Center

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