Great earthquakes anticipated on the Cascadia subduction fault can potentially rupture beyond the geodetically and thermally inferred locked zone to the depths of episodic tremor and slip (ETS) or to the even deeper fore-arc mantle corner (FMC). To evaluate these extreme rupture limits, we map the FMC from southern Vancouver Island to central Oregon by combining published seismic velocity structures with a model of the Juan de Fuca plate. These data indicate that the FMC is somewhat shallower beneath Vancouver Island (36–38 km) and Oregon (35–40 km) and deeper beneath Washington (41–43 km). The updip edge of tremor follows the same general pattern, overlying a slightly shallower Juan de Fuca plate beneath Vancouver Island and Oregon (∼30 km) and a deeper plate beneath Washington (∼35 km). Similar to the Nankai subduction zone, the best constrained FMC depths correlate with the center of the tremor band suggesting that ETS is controlled by conditions near the FMC rather than directly by temperature or pressure. Unlike Nankai, a gap as wide as 70 km exists between the downdip limit of the inferred locked zone and the FMC. This gap also encompasses a ∼50 km wide gap between the inferred locked zones and the updip limit of tremor. The separation of these features offers a natural laboratory for determining the key controls on downdip rupture limits.
|Title||Relationship between the Cascadia fore-arc mantle wedge, nonvolcanic tremor, and the downdip limit of seismogenic rupture|
|Authors||Patricia A. McCrory, Roy D. Hyndman, J. Luke Blair|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Earthquake Science Center|