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Geirsson H.,Pennsylvania State University | Geirsson H.,European Center for Geodynamics and Seismology | Lafemina P.C.,Pennsylvania State University | Demets C.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | And 7 more authors.
Geophysical Journal International | Year: 2015

Subduction zones exhibit variable degrees of interseismic coupling as resolved by inversions of geodetic data and analyses of seismic energy release. The degree to which a plate boundary fault is coupled can have profound effects on its seismogenic behaviour. Here we use GPS measurements to estimate co- and post-seismic deformation from the 2012 August 27, Mw7.3 megathrust earthquake offshore El Salvador, which was a tsunami earthquake. Inversions of estimated coseismic displacements are in agreement with published seismically derived source models, which indicate shallow (<20 km depth) rupture of the plate interface. Measured post-seismic deformation in the first year following the earthquake exceeds the coseismic deformation. Our analysis indicates that the post-seismic deformation is dominated by afterslip, as opposed to viscous relaxation, and we estimate a post-seismic moment release one to eight times greater than the coseismic moment during the first 500 d, depending on the relative location of coseismic versus post-seismic slip on the plate interface. We suggest that the excessive post-seismic motion is characteristic for the El Salvador-Nicaragua segment of the Central American margin and may be a characteristic of margins hosting tsunami earthquakes. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. Source


Brasse H.,Free University of Berlin | Schafer A.,Free University of Berlin | Diaz D.,Free University of Berlin | Alvarado G.E.,Instituto Costarricense Of Electricidad | And 2 more authors.
Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors | Year: 2015

A long-period magnetotelluric (MT) experiment was conducted in early 2009 in western Nicaragua to study the electrical resistivity and thus fluid/melt distribution at the Central American continental margin where the Cocos plate subducts beneath the Caribbean plate. Strike analysis yields a preference direction perpendicular to the profile, with moderate deviation from two-dimensionality, however. Two-dimensional modeling maps the sediments of the Nicaraguan Depression and a high-conductivity zone in the mid-crust, slightly offset from the arc. Further conductors are modeled in the backarc. However, these features are probably artifacts when a 2-D program is applied to data which show moderate 3-D characteristics. 3-D inversion clarifies the situation, and the major remaining conductive structure is now quasi directly beneath the volcanic chain and interpreted as a deep-seated magma deposit. Conductivity in the backarc is also relatively high and may either be caused by still existing partial melts beneath the Paleocene to Miocene volcanic arcs or by related metallic deposits in the aureoles of hydrothermal alteration. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. Source


French S.W.,Brown University | French S.W.,University of California at Berkeley | Warren L.M.,National Science Foundation | Warren L.M.,University of Arizona | And 5 more authors.
Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems | Year: 2010

In the Nicaraguan segment of the Central American subduction zone, bookshelf faulting has been proposed as the dominant style of Caribbean plate deformation in response to oblique subduction of the Cocos plate. A key element of this model is left-lateral motion on arc-normal strike-slip faults. On 3 August 2005, a Mw 6.3 earthquake and its extensive foreshock and aftershock sequence occurred near Ometepe Island in Lake Nicaragua. To determine the fault plane that ruptured in the main shock, we relocated main shock, foreshock, and aftershock hypocenters and analyzed main shock source directivity using waveforms from the TUCAN Broadband Seismic Experiment. The relocation analysis was carried out by applying the hypoDD double-difference method to P and S onset times and differential traveltimes for event pairs determined by waveform cross correlation. The relocated hypocenters define a roughly vertical plane of seismicity with an N60°E strike. This plane aligns with one of the two nodal planes of the main shock source mechanism. The directivity analysis was based on waveforms from 16 TUCAN stations and indicates that rupture on the N60°E striking main shock nodal plane provides the best fit to the data. The relocation and directivity analyses identify the N60°E vertical nodal plane as the main shock fault plane, consistent with the style of faulting required by the bookshelf model. Relocated hypocenters also define a second fault plane that lies to the south of the main shock fault plane with a strike of N350°E-N355°E. This fault plane became seismically active 5 h after the main shock, suggesting the influence of stresses transferred from the main shock fault plane. The August 2005 earthquake sequence was preceded by a small eruption of a nearby volcano, Concepción, on 28 July 2005. However, the local seismicity does not provide evidence for earthquake triggering of the eruption or eruption triggering of the main shock through crustal stress transfer. Copyright 2010 by the American Geophysical Union. Source


Brasse H.,Free University of Berlin | Schafer A.,Free University of Berlin | Diaz D.,Free University of Berlin | Diaz D.,University of Chile | And 4 more authors.
Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors | Year: 2015

A long-period magnetotelluric (MT) experiment was conducted in early 2009 in western Nicaragua to study the electrical resistivity and thus fluid/melt distribution at the Central American continental margin where the Cocos plate subducts beneath the Caribbean plate. Strike analysis yields a preference direction perpendicular to the profile, with moderate deviation from two-dimensionality, however. Two-dimensional modeling maps the sediments of the Nicaraguan Depression and a high-conductivity zone in the mid-crust, slightly offset from the arc. Further conductors are modeled in the backarc. However, these features are probably artifacts when a 2-D program is applied to data which show moderate 3-D characteristics. 3-D inversion clarifies the situation, and the major remaining conductive structure is now quasi directly beneath the volcanic chain and interpreted as a deep-seated magma deposit. Conductivity in the backarc is also relatively high and may either be caused by still existing partial melts beneath the Paleocene to Miocene volcanic arcs or by related metallic deposits in the aureoles of hydrothermal alteration. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. Source


Saballos J.A.,Instituto Nicaraguense Of Estudios Territoriales | Conde V.,Chalmers University of Technology | Malservisi R.,University of South Florida | Connor C.B.,University of South Florida | And 2 more authors.
Bulletin of Volcanology | Year: 2014

Concepción is a frequently active composite volcano in Nicaragua, and is located on Ometepe Island, within Lake Nicaragua. Significant eruptive activity took place at this volcano between March and May 2010, consisting of ash and gas explosions (VEI 1-2). We compare geodetic baseline changes observed with global positioning system (GPS), sulfur dioxide flux (SO2), and seismic amplitude (SAM) data collected at Concepción during April - June, 2010, and February - April, 2011. Time series analysis reveals a remarkable correlation among the data sets during 2010, when the volcano was erupting. In contrast, the volcano was at its background level of activity in 2011 and the statistical correlation among the time series is not significant for this period. We explain the emergence of correlation among the time series during eruptive activity through modeling of the GPS data with emplacement of a magma column in an open conduit. In the model, magma rose in the conduit, between May 5 and 14, 2010, from a shallow reservoir located at ~ 1.8 km depth. Later, between May 24 and 31, 2010, the top of the magma column descended to almost 600 m depth, corresponding to the cessation of eruptive activity. Thus, cross-correlation and an integrated analysis of these geophysical time series on a timescale of days helps to reveal the dynamics of the magma plumbing system operating below Concepción volcano. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

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