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Title: Physics-based scenario of earthquake cycles on the Ventura Thrust system, California : the effect of variable friction and fault geometry
Authors: Ong, Miranda Su Qing
Barbot, Sylvain
Hubbard, Judith
Keywords: Ventura Thrust System
Science::Geology::Volcanoes and earthquakes
Earthquake Cycles
Issue Date: 2019
Source: Ong, M. S. Q., Barbot, S., & Hubbard, J. (2019). Physics-based scenario of earthquake cycles on the Ventura Thrust system, California : the effect of variable friction and fault geometry. Pure and Applied Geophysics, 176(9), 3993-4007. doi:10.1007/s00024-019-02111-9
Series/Report no.: Pure and Applied Geophysics
Abstract: The Ventura Thrust system in California is capable of producing large magnitude earthquakes. Geological studies suggest that the fault geometry is complex, composed of multiple segments at different dips: thrust ramps dipping 30°–50° linked with bed-parallel décollements dipping < 10°. These latter types of gently dipping faults form due to preexisting weaknesses in the crust, and therefore have different frictional parameters from thrust ramps; the faults also experience different stresses because of how stresses are resolved onto the fault planes. Here, we use a two-dimensional fault model to assess how geometry and frictional properties of the ramp/décollement system should affect the seismic cycle. We test velocity-strengthening, velocity-weakening, and conditionally stable décollements, and in addition explore how the dip angle of the décollement changes the earthquake behavior. A velocity-strengthening décollement cannot replicate the through-going earthquake ruptures that have been inferred for the Ventura fault system. We therefore suggest that this and other décollements may be better represented using a velocity-weakening or conditionally stable response. Our results show that minor variations in fault geometry produce slip amounts and recurrence intervals that differ only by 10–20%, but do not fundamentally alter the types of earthquakes and interseismic slip. We conclude that geological constraints on fault geometry are typically sufficient to produce modeled earthquake sequences that are statistically consistent with paleoseismic records. However, both frictional parameters along the fault and effective normal stress influence earthquake rupture patterns significantly. More research is needed to adequately constrain these quantities in order for earthquake rupture models to work as effective predictors of fault behavior.
ISSN: 0033-4553
DOI: 10.1007/s00024-019-02111-9
Rights: © 2019 The Author(s). This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided 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.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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