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Title: Transient rheology of the Sumatran mantle wedge revealed by a decade of great earthquakes
Authors: Qiu, Qiang
Moore, James Daniel Paul
Barbot, Sylvain
Feng, Lujia
Hill, Emma Mary
Keywords: Transient
Issue Date: 2018
Source: Qiu, Q., Moore, J. D. P., Barbot, S., Feng, L., & Hill, E. M. (2018). Transient rheology of the Sumatran mantle wedge revealed by a decade of great earthquakes. Nature Communications, 9(1), 995-.
Series/Report no.: Nature Communications
Abstract: Understanding the rheological properties of the upper mantle is essential to develop a consistent model of mantle dynamics and plate tectonics. However, the spatial distribution and temporal evolution of these properties remain unclear. Here, we infer the rheological properties of the asthenosphere across multiple great megathrust earthquakes between 2004 and 2014 along the Sumatran subduction zone, taking advantage of decade-long continuous GPS and tide-gauge measurements. We observe transient mantle wedge flow following these earthquakes, and infer the temporal evolution of the effective viscosity. We show that the evolution of stress and strain rate following these earthquakes is better matched by a bi-viscous than by a power-law rheology model, and we estimate laterally heterogeneous transient and background viscosities on the order of ~1017 and ~1019 Pa s, respectively. Our results constitute a preliminary rheological model to explain stress evolution within earthquake cycles and the development of seismic hazard in the region.
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-03298-6
Rights: © 2018 The Author(s). This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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