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2012
Nof, R, Ziv A, Doin M-P, Baer G, Fialko Y, Wdowinski S, Eyal Y, Bock Y.  2012.  Rising of the lowest place on Earth due to Dead Sea water-level drop: Evidence from SAR interferometry and GPS. J. Geophys. Res.. 117:B05412.   10.1029/2011JB008961   Abstract

The Dead Sea water-level has been dropping at an exceedingly increasing rate since 1960, and between 1993 and 2001, the interval of the InSAR data examined in this study, it has dropped at an average rate of 0.88 m per year. Such a water-level change could potentially give rise to a resolvable lithospheric rebound and regional uplift, with spatial extent and amplitude that are controlled by the effective mechanical properties of the crust and upper mantle combined. We measure that deformation for the years 1993 to 2001, using 149 short baseline interferograms made of 31 ERS-1 and ERS-2 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images and continuous GPS data from the Survey of Israel recorded between 1997 and 2011. The uplift rate at the Dead Sea is small (up to 4 mm/year), and the basin topography is almost a mirror of the displacement, introducing a strong trade-off between uplift and stratified atmosphere noise. To overcome this complication, we impose a linearity constraint on the satellite to ground Line Of Sight (LOS) phase changes based on the steady uplift observed by a continuous GPS station in the area of interest, and simultaneously solve for the LOS change rate, Digital Elevation Model (DEM) errors and the elevation-phase correlation. While the LOS rate and DEM errors are solved for each pixel independently, the elevation-phase correlation is solved for each SAR acquisition independently. Using this approach we separated the stratified atmospheric delay from the ground displacement. We observed a regional uplift around the Dead Sea northern basin, with maximum uplift close to the shorelines, and diminishing to zero by the Mediterranean coast. We modeled the effect of water load changes using a homogeneous elastic half-space, and found a good agreement between modeled and observed ground displacements using elastic properties that are compatible with seismic and gravity data down to a depth of 15 km below the Dead Sea basin, suggesting that the response of the crust to the sea level drop is controlled mainly by the elastic properties of the upper-crust immediately below the Dead Sea basin.

2011
Kaneko, Y, Fialko Y.  2011.  Shallow slip deficit due to large strike-slip earthquakes in dynamic rupture simulations with elasto-plastic off-fault response. Geophysical Journal International. 186:1389-1403.   10.1111/j.1365-246X.2011.05117.x   AbstractWebsite

Slip inversions of geodetic data from several large (magnitude similar to 7) strike-slip earthquakes point to coseismic slip deficit at shallow depths (< 3-4 km), that is, coseismic slip appears to decrease towards the Earth surface. While the inferred slip distribution may be consistent with laboratory-derived rate and state friction laws suggesting that the uppermost brittle crust may be velocity strengthening, there remains a question of how the coseismic slip deficit is accommodated throughout the earthquake cycle. The consequence of velocity-strengthening fault friction at shallow depths is that the deficit of coseismic slip is relieved by post-seismic afterslip and interseismic creep. However, many seismic events with inferred shallow slip deficit were not associated with either resolvable shallow interseismic creep or robust shallow afterslip. Hence, the origin of shallow 'slip deficit' remains uncertain. In this study, we investigate whether inelastic failure in the shallow crust due to dynamic earthquake rupture can explain the inferred deficit of shallow slip. Evidence for such failure is emerging from geologic, seismic and geodetic observations. We find that the amount of shallow slip deficit is proportional to the amount of inelastic deformation near the Earth surface. Such deformation occurs under a wide range of parameters that characterize rock strength in the upper crust. However, the largest magnitude of slip deficit in models accounting for off-fault yielding is 2-4 times smaller than that inferred from kinematic inversions of geodetic data. To explain this discrepancy, we further explore to what extent assumptions in the kinematic inversions may bias the inferred slip distributions. Inelastic deformation in the shallow crust reduces coseismic strain near the fault, introducing an additional 'artificial' deficit of up to 10 per cent of the maximum slip in inversions of geodetic data that are based on purely elastic models. The largest magnitude of slip deficit in our models combined with the bias in inversions accounts for up to 25 per cent of shallow slip deficit, which is comparable, but still smaller than 3060 per cent deficit inferred from kinematic inversions. We discuss potential mechanisms that may account for the remaining discrepancy between slip deficit predicted by elasto-plastic rupture models and that inferred from inversions of space geodetic data.

Wei, M, Sandwell D, Fialko Y, Bilham R.  2011.  Slip on faults in the Imperial Valley triggered by the 4 April 2010 Mw 7.2 El Mayor-Cucapah earthquake revealed by InSAR. Geophysical Research Letters. 38   10.1029/2010gl045235   AbstractWebsite

Radar interferometry (InSAR), field measurements and creepmeters reveal surface slip on multiple faults in the Imperial Valley triggered by the main shock of the 4 April 2010 El Mayor-Cucapah M(w) 7.2 earthquake. Co-seismic offsets occurred on the San Andreas, Superstition Hills, Imperial, Elmore Ranch, Wienert, Coyote Creek, Elsinore, Yuha, and several minor faults near the town of Ocotillo at the northern end of the mainshock rupture. We documented right-lateral slip (<40 mm) on northwest-striking faults and left-lateral slip (<40 mm) on southwest-striking faults. Slip occurred on 15-km- and 20-km-long segments of the San Andreas Fault in the Mecca Hills (<= 50 mm) and Durmid Hill (<= 10 mm) respectively, and on 25 km of the Superstition Hills Fault (<= 37 mm). Field measurements of slip on the Superstition Hills Fault agree with InSAR and creepmeter measurements to within a few millimeters. Dislocation models of the InSAR data from the Superstition Hills Fault confirm that creep in this sequence, as in previous slip events, is confined to shallow depths (<3 km). Citation: Wei, M., D. Sandwell, Y. Fialko, and R. Bilham (2011), Slip on faults in the Imperial Valley triggered by the 4 April 2010 Mw 7.2 El Mayor-Cucapah earthquake revealed by InSAR, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L01308, doi:10.1029/2010GL045235.

2010
Barbot, S, Fialko Y.  2010.  A unified continuum representation of post-seismic relaxation mechanisms: semi-analytic models of afterslip, poroelastic rebound and viscoelastic flow. Geophysical Journal International. 182:1124-1140.   10.1111/j.1365-246X.2010.04678.x   AbstractWebsite

P>We present a unified continuum mechanics representation of the mechanisms believed to be commonly involved in post-seismic transients such as viscoelasticity, fault creep and poroelasticity. The time-dependent relaxation that follows an earthquake, or any other static stress perturbation, is considered in a framework of a generalized viscoelastoplastic rheology whereby some inelastic strain relaxes a physical quantity in the material. The relaxed quantity is the deviatoric stress in case of viscoelastic relaxation, the shear stress in case of creep on a fault plane and the trace of the stress tensor in case of poroelastic rebound. In this framework, the instantaneous velocity field satisfies the linear inhomogeneous Navier's equation with sources parametrized as equivalent body forces and surface tractions. We evaluate the velocity field using the Fourier-domain Green's function for an elastic half-space with surface buoyancy boundary condition. The accuracy of the proposed method is demonstrated by comparisons with finite-element simulations of viscoelastic relaxation following strike-slip and dip-slip ruptures for linear and power-law rheologies. We also present comparisons with analytic solutions for afterslip driven by coseismic stress changes. Finally, we demonstrate that the proposed method can be used to model time-dependent poroelastic rebound by adopting a viscoelastic rheology with bulk viscosity and work hardening. The proposed method allows one to model post-seismic transients that involve multiple mechanisms (afterslip, poroelastic rebound, ductile flow) with an account for the effects of gravity, non-linear rheologies and arbitrary spatial variations in inelastic properties of rocks (e.g. the effective viscosity, rate-and-state frictional parameters and poroelastic properties).

Pearse, J, Fialko Y.  2010.  Mechanics of active magmatic intraplating in the Rio Grande Rift near Socorro, New Mexico. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 115   10.1029/2009jb006592   AbstractWebsite

We investigate long-term deformation due to the Socorro Magma Body (SMB), one of the largest active intrusions in the Earth's continental crust, using interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) observations and finite element simulations. InSAR data spanning 15 years (1992-2007) indicate that the magma body is associated with a steady crustal uplift at a rate of about 2 mm yr(-1). Previous work showed that while the pattern of surface uplift is consistent with an elastic inflation of a large sill-like magma body, the SMB could not have formed via steady elastic inflation because the latter would be outpaced by magma solidification. We resolve this problem using coupled thermovisco-elastic models, and place constraints on the intrusion history as well as the rheology of the ambient crustal rocks. We demonstrate that observations rule out the linear Maxwell response of the ductile crust, but are consistent with laboratory-derived power law rheologies. Our preferred model suggests that the age of the SMB is of the order of 10(3) years, and that the apparent constancy of the present-day uplift may be due to slow heat transfer and ductile deformation in a metamorphic aureole of a giant sill-like magma intrusion, rather than due to a steady increase in the magma overpressure. The SMB is a contemporaneous example of "magmatic intraplating," a process by which large volumes of mafic melt stall and spread at midcrustal depths due to density or rheology contrasts.

Barbot, S, Fialko Y.  2010.  Fourier-domain Green's function for an elastic semi-infinite solid under gravity, with applications to earthquake and volcano deformation. Geophysical Journal International. 182:568-582.   10.1111/j.1365-246X.2010.04655.x   AbstractWebsite

We present an analytic solution in the Fourier domain for an elastic deformation in a semi-infinite solid due to an arbitrary surface traction. We generalize the so-called Boussinesq's and Cerruti's problems to include a restoring buoyancy boundary condition at the surface. Buoyancy due to a large density contrast at the Earth's surface is an approximation to the full effect of gravity that neglects the perturbation of the gravitational potential and the change in density in the interior. Using the perturbation method, and assuming that the effect of gravity is small compared to the elastic deformation, we derive an approximation in the space domain to the Boussinesq's problem that accounts for a buoyancy boundary condition at the surface. The Fourier- and space-domain solutions are shown to be in good agreement. Numerous problems of elastostatic or quasi-static time-dependent deformation relevant to faulting in the Earth's interior (including inelastic deformation) can be modelled using equivalent body forces and surface tractions. Solving the governing equations with the elastic Green's function in the space domain can be impractical as the body force can be distributed over a large volume. We present a computationally efficient method to evaluate the elastic deformation in a 3-D half space due to the presence of an arbitrary distribution of internal forces and tractions at the surface of the half space. We first evaluate the elastic deformation in a periodic Cartesian volume in the Fourier domain, then use the analytic solutions to the generalized Boussinesq's and Cerruti's problems to satisfy the prescribed mixed boundary condition at the surface. We show some applications for magmatic intrusions and faulting. This approach can be used to solve elastostatic problems involving spatially heterogeneous elastic properties (by employing a homogenization method) and time-dependent problems such as non-linear viscoelastic relaxation, poroelastic rebound and non-steady fault creep under the assumption of spatially homogeneous elastic properties.

Tong, XP, Sandwell DT, Fialko Y.  2010.  Coseismic slip model of the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake derived from joint inversion of interferometric synthetic aperture radar, GPS, and field data. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 115   10.1029/2009jb006625   AbstractWebsite

We derived a coseismic slip model for the M(w) 7.9 2008 Wenchuan earthquake on the basis of radar line-of-sight displacements from ALOS interferograms, GPS vectors, and geological field data. Available interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) data provided a nearly complete coverage of the surface deformation along both ascending (fine beam mode) and descending orbits (ScanSAR to ScanSAR mode). The earthquake was modeled using four subfaults with variable geometry and dip to capture the simultaneous rupture of both the Beichuan fault and the Pengguan fault. Our model misfits show that the InSAR and GPS data are highly compatible; the combined inversion yields a 93% variance reduction. The best fit model has fault planes that rotate from shallow dip in the south (35 degrees) to nearly vertical dip toward the north (70 degrees). Our rupture model is complex with variations in both depth and rake along two major fault strands. In the southern segment of the Beichuan fault, the slip is mostly thrust (<13 m) and occurred principally in the upper 10 km of the crust; the rupture progressively transformed to right-lateral strike slip as it propagated northeast (with maximum offsets of 7 m). Our model suggests that most of the moment release was limited to the shallow part of the crust (depth less than 10 km). We did not find any "shallow slip deficit" in the slip depth distribution of this mixed mechanism earthquake. Aftershocks were primarily distributed below the section of the fault that ruptured coseismically.

2009
Barbot, S, Fialko Y, Sandwell D.  2009.  Three-dimensional models of elastostatic deformation in heterogeneous media, with applications to the Eastern California Shear Zone. Geophysical Journal International. 179:500-520.   10.1111/j.1365-246X.2009.04194.x   AbstractWebsite

P>We present a semi-analytic iterative procedure for evaluating the 3-D deformation due to faults in an arbitrarily heterogeneous elastic half-space. Spatially variable elastic properties are modelled with equivalent body forces and equivalent surface traction in a 'homogenized' elastic medium. The displacement field is obtained in the Fourier domain using a semi-analytic Green function. We apply this model to investigate the response of 3-D compliant zones (CZ) around major crustal faults to coseismic stressing by nearby earthquakes. We constrain the two elastic moduli, as well as the geometry of the fault zones by comparing the model predictions to Synthetic Aperture Radar inferferometric (InSAR) data. Our results confirm that the CZ models for the Rodman, Calico and Pinto Mountain faults in the Eastern California Shear Zone (ECSZ) can explain the coseismic InSAR data from both the Landers and the Hector Mine earthquakes. For the Pinto Mountain fault zone, InSAR data suggest a 50 per cent reduction in effective shear modulus and no significant change in Poisson's ratio compared to the ambient crust. The large wavelength of coseismic line-of-sight displacements around the Pinto Mountain fault requires a fairly wide (similar to 1.9 km) CZ extending to a depth of at least 9 km. Best fit for the Calico CZ, north of Galway Dry Lake, is obtained for a 4 km deep structure, with a 60 per cent reduction in shear modulus, with no change in Poisson's ratio. We find that the required effective rigidity of the Calico fault zone south of Galway Dry Lake is not as low as that of the northern segment, suggesting along-strike variations of effective elastic moduli within the same fault zone. The ECSZ InSAR data is best explained by CZ models with reduction in both shear and bulk moduli. These observations suggest pervasive and widespread damage around active crustal faults.

Barbot, S, Fialko Y, Bock Y.  2009.  Postseismic deformation due to the M(w) 6.0 2004 Parkfield earthquake: Stress-driven creep on a fault with spatially variable rate-and-state friction parameters. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 114   10.1029/2008jb005748   AbstractWebsite

We investigate the coseismic and postseismic deformation due to the M(w) 6.0 2004 Parkfield, California, earthquake. We produce coseismic and postseismic slip models by inverting data from an array of 14 continuous GPS stations from the SCIGN network. Kinematic inversions of postseismic GPS data over a time period of 3 years show that afterslip occurred in areas of low seismicity and low coseismic slip, predominantly at a depth of similar to 5 km. Inversions suggest that coseismic stress increases were relaxed by predominantly aseismic afterslip on a fault plane. The kinetics of afterslip is consistent with a velocity-strengthening friction generalized to include the case of infinitesimal velocities. We performed simulations of stress-driven creep using a numerical model that evaluates the time-dependent deformation due to coseismic stress changes in a viscoelastoplastic half-space. Starting with a coseismic slip distribution, we compute the time-dependent evolution of afterslip on a fault plane and the associated displacements at the GPS stations. Data are best explained by a rate-strengthening model with frictional parameter (a - b) = 7 x 10(-3), at a high end of values observed in laboratory experiments. We also find that the geodetic moment due to creep is a factor of 100 greater than the cumulative seismic moment of aftershocks. The rate of aftershocks in the top 10 km of the seismogenic zone mirrors the kinetics of afterslip, suggesting that postearthquake seismicity is governed by loading from the nearby aseismic creep. The San Andreas fault around Parkfield is deduced to have large along-strike variations in rate-and-state frictional properties. Velocity strengthening areas may be responsible for the separation of the coseismic slip in two distinct asperities and for the ongoing aseismic creep occurring between the velocity-weakening patches after the 2004 rupture.

Wei, M, Sandwell D, Fialko Y.  2009.  A silent M-w 4.7 slip event of October 2006 on the Superstition Hills fault, southern California. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 114   10.1029/2008jb006135   AbstractWebsite

During October 2006, the 20-km-long Superstition Hills fault (SHF) in the Salton Trough, southern California, slipped aseismically, producing a maximum offset of 27 mm, as recorded by a creepmeter. We investigate this creep event as well as the spatial and temporal variations in slip history since 1992 using ERS-1/2 and Envisat satellite data. During a 15-year period, steady creep is punctuated by at least three events. The first two events were dynamically triggered by the 1992 Landers and 1999 Hector Mine earthquakes. In contrast, there is no obvious triggering mechanism for the October 2006 event. Field measurements of fault offset after the 1999 and 2006 events are in good agreement with the interferometric synthetic aperture radar data indicating that creep occurred along the 20-km-long fault above 4 km depth, with most of the slip occurring at the surface. The moment released during this event is equivalent to a M-w 4.7 earthquake. This event produced no detectable aftershocks and was not recorded by the continuous GPS stations that were 9 km away. Modeling of the long-term creep from 1992 to 2007 creep using stacked ERS-1/2 interferograms also shows a maximum creep depth of 2-4 km, with slip tapering with depth. Considering that the sediment thickness varies between 3 km and 5 km along the SHF, our results are consistent with previous studies suggesting that shallow creep is controlled by sediment depth, perhaps due to high pore pressures in the unconsolidated sediments.

Hearn, EH, Fialko Y.  2009.  Can compliant fault zones be used to measure absolute stresses in the upper crust? Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 114   10.1029/2008jb005901   AbstractWebsite

Geodetic and seismic observations reveal long-lived zones with reduced elastic moduli along active crustal faults. These fault zones localize strain from nearby earthquakes, consistent with the response of a compliant, elastic layer. Fault zone trapped wave studies documented a small reduction in P and S wave velocities along the Johnson Valley Fault caused by the 1999 Hector Mine earthquake. This reduction presumably perturbed a permanent compliant structure associated with the fault. The inferred changes in the fault zone compliance may produce a measurable deformation in response to background (tectonic) stresses. This deformation should have the same sense as the background stress, rather than the coseismic stress change. Here we investigate how the observed deformation of compliant zones in the Mojave Desert can be used to constrain the fault zone structure and stresses in the upper crust. We find that gravitational contraction of the coseismically softened zones should cause centimeters of coseismic subsidence of both the compliant zones and the surrounding region, unless the compliant fault zones are shallow and narrow, or essentially incompressible. We prefer the latter interpretation because profiles of line of sight displacements across compliant zones cannot be fit by a narrow, shallow compliant zone. Strain of the Camp Rock and Pinto Mountain fault zones during the Hector Mine and Landers earthquakes suggests that background deviatoric stresses are broadly consistent with Mohr-Coulomb theory in the Mojave upper crust (with mu >= 0.7). Large uncertainties in Mojave compliant zone properties and geometry preclude more precise estimates of crustal stresses in this region. With improved imaging of the geometry and elastic properties of compliant zones, and with precise measurements of their strain in response to future earthquakes, the modeling approach we describe here may eventually provide robust estimates of absolute crustal stress.

Ujiie, K, Tsutsumi A, Fialko Y, Yamaguchi H.  2009.  Experimental investigation of frictional melting of argillite at high slip rates: Implications for seismic slip in subduction-accretion complexes. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 114   10.1029/2008jb006165   AbstractWebsite

Discovery of pseudotachylytes from exhumed accretionary complexes indicates that frictional melting occurred along illite-rich, argillite-derived slip zones during subduction earthquakes. We conducted high-velocity friction experiments on argillite at a slip rate of 1.13 m/s and normal stresses of 2.67-13.33 MPa. Experiments show slip weakening followed by slip strengthening. Slip weakening is associated with the formation and shearing of low-viscosity melt patches. The subsequent slip strengthening occurred despite the reduction in shear strain rate due to the growth (thickening) of melt layer, suggesting that the viscosity of melt layer increased with slip. Microstructural and chemical analyses suggest that the viscosity increase during the slip strengthening is not due to an increase in the volume fraction of solid grains and bubbles in the melt layer but could be caused primarily by dehydration of the melt layer. Our experimental results suggest that viscous braking can be efficient at shallow depths of subduction-accretion complexes if substantial melt dehydration occurs on a timescale of seismic slip. Melt lubrication can possibly occur at greater depths within subduction-accretion complexes because the ratio of viscous shear to normal stress decreases with depth. Argillite-derived natural pseudotachylytes formed at seismogenic depths in subduction-accretion complexes are more hydrous than the experimentally generated pseudotachylytes and may be evidence of nearly complete stress drop.

LaBonte, AL, Brown KM, Fialko Y.  2009.  Hydrologic detection and finite element modeling of a slow slip event in the Costa Rica prism toe. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 114   10.1029/2008jb005806   AbstractWebsite

We investigate transient fluid flux through the seafloor recorded near the Costa Rica trench during the 2000 Costa Rica Seismogenic Zone Experiment using a 2-D fully coupled poroelastic finite element model. We demonstrate that the observed hydrologic anomalies are consistent with a model of propagating slow slip at the subduction interface between the frontal prism and downgoing plate. There are two sources of volumetric strain that drive fluid flux at the seafloor in response to fault slip at depth: (1) compression and dilation in the vicinity of the tips of a slipping patch and (2) extension and compression due to flexure of the seafloor. The superposition of these two effects results in distinctive spatial and temporal patterns of fluid flow through the seafloor. In a forward modeling approach, time series from shear ruptures with a range of fault length-to-depth ratios in a heterogeneous crust are generated and compared with flow rate observations. Assuming a constant propagation rate and an elliptical profile for the distribution of slip along the decollement, the set of model predictions enables us to infer the probable rupture location, extent, propagation velocity, and duration from a single flow rate time series. The best fit model suggests that the slow slip event initiated within the toe at a depth of less than 4 km and propagated bilaterally at an average rate of 0.5 km d(-1). This interpretation implies that stress in the shallow subduction zone is relieved episodically. Furthermore, the Costa Rica data suggest that episodic slow slip events may initiate in the prism toe without being triggered by a seismic event further downdip.

Cochran, ES, Li YG, Shearer PM, Barbot S, Fialko Y, Vidale JE.  2009.  Seismic and geodetic evidence for extensive, long-lived fault damage zones. Geology. 37:315-318.   10.1130/g25306a.1   AbstractWebsite

During earthquakes, slip is often localized on preexisting faults, but it is not well understood how the structure of crustal faults may contribute to slip localization and energetics. Growing evidence suggests that the crust along active faults undergoes anomalous strain and damage during large earthquakes. Seismic and geodetic data from the Calico fault in the eastern California shear zone reveal a wide zone of reduced seismic velocities and effective elastic moduli. Using seismic traveltimes, trapped waves, and interferometric synthetic aperture radar observations, we document seismic velocities reduced by 40%-50% and shear moduli reduced by 65% compared to wall rock in a 1.5-km-wide zone along the Calico fault. Observed velocity reductions likely represent the cumulative mechanical damage from past earthquake ruptures. No large earthquake has broken the Calico fault in historic time, implying that fault damage persists for hundreds or perhaps thousands of years. These findings indicate that faults can affect rock properties at substantial distances from primary fault slip surfaces, and throughout much of the seismogenic zone, a result with implications for the amount of energy expended during rupture to drive cracking and yielding of rock and development of fault systems.

2008
Barbot, S, Hamiel Y, Fialko Y.  2008.  Space geodetic investigation of the coseismic and postseismic deformation due to the 2003 M(w)7.2 Altai earthquake: Implications for the local lithospheric rheology. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 113   10.1029/2007jb005063   AbstractWebsite

We use Envisat Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar data and SPOT optical imagery to investigate the coseismic and postseismic deformation due to the 27 September 2003, M(w)7.2 Altai earthquake, which occurred in the Chuya Basin near the Russia-China-Mongolia border. On the basis of the synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and SPOT data, we determined the rupture location and developed a coseismic slip model for the Altai earthquake. The inferred rupture location is in a good agreement with field observations, and the geodetic moment from our slip model is consistent with the seismic moment determined from the teleseismic data. While the epicentral area of the Altai earthquake is not optimal for radar interferometry (in particular, due to temporal decorrelation), we were able to detect a transient signal over a time period of 3 years following the earthquake. The signal is robust in that it allows us to discriminate among several commonly assumed mechanisms of postseismic relaxation. We find that the postearthquake interferometric SAR data do not warrant poroelastic rebound in the upper crust. The observed deformation also disagrees with linear viscoelastic relaxation in the upper mantle or lower crust, giving rise to a lower bound on the dynamic viscosity of the lower crust of the order of 10(19) Pa s. The data can be explained in terms of fault slip within the seismogenic zone, on the periphery of areas with high coseismic slip. Most of the postseismic deformation can be explained in terms of seismic moment release in aftershocks; some shallow slip may have also occurred aseismically. Therefore the observed postseismic deformation due to the Altai earthquake is qualitatively different from deformation due to other similarly sized earthquakes, in particular, the Landers and Hector Mine earthquakes in the Mojave desert, southern California. The observed variations in the deformation pattern may be indicative of different rheologic structure of the continental lithosphere in different tectonically active areas.

Barbot, S, Fialko Y, Sandwell D.  2008.  Effect of a compliant fault zone on the inferred earthquake slip distribution. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 113   10.1029/2007jb005256   AbstractWebsite

We present a new semi-analytic method to evaluate the deformation due to a screw dislocation in arbitrarily heterogeneous and/or anisotropic elastic half plane. The method employs integral transformations to reduce the governing partial differential equations to the integral Fredholm equation of the second kind. Dislocation sources, as well as spatial perturbations in the elastic properties are modeled using equivalent body forces. The solution to the Fredholm equation is obtained in the Fourier domain using a method of successive over-relaxation, and is mapped into the spatial domain using the inverse Fast Fourier Transform. We apply this method to investigate the effect of a soft damage zone around an earthquake fault on the co-seismic displacement field, and on the earthquake slip distribution inferred from inversions of geodetic data. In the presence of a kilometer-wide damage zone with a reduction of the effective shear modulus of a factor of 2, inversions that assume a laterally homogeneous model tend to underestimate the amount of slip in the middle of the seismogenic layer by as much as 20%. This bias may accentuate the inferred maxima in the seismic moment release at depth between 3-6 km suggested by previous studies of large strike-slip earthquakes.

2007
Hamiel, Y, Fialko Y.  2007.  Structure and mechanical properties of faults in the North Anatolian Fault system from InSAR observations of coseismic deformation due to the 1999 Izmit (Turkey) earthquake. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 112   10.1029/2006jb004777   AbstractWebsite

We study the structure and mechanical properties of faults in the North Anatolian Fault system by observing near-fault deformation induced by the 1999 M-w 7.4 Izmit earthquake (Turkey). We use interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) and Global Positioning System observations to analyze the coseismic surface deformation in the near field of the Izmit rupture. The overall observed coseismic deformation is consistent with deformation predicted by a dislocation model assuming a uniform elastic crust. Previous InSAR studies revealed small-scale changes in the radar range across the nearby faults of the North Anatolian fault system (in particular, the Mudurnu Valley and Iznik faults) (e.g., Wright et al., 2001). We demonstrate that these anomalous range changes are consistent with an elastic response of compliant fault zones to the stress perturbation induced by the Izmit earthquake. We examine the spatial variations and mechanical properties of fault zones around the Mudurnu Valley and Iznik faults using three-dimensional finite element models. In these models, we include compliant fault zones having various geometries and elastic properties and apply stress changes deduced from a kinematic slip model of the Izmit earthquake. The best fitting models suggest that the inferred fault zones have a characteristic width of a few kilometers, depth in excess of 10 km, and reductions in the effective shear modulus of about a factor of 3 compared to the surrounding rocks. The characteristic width of the best fitting fault zone models is consistent with field observations along the North Anatolian Fault system (Ambraseys, 1970). Our results are also in agreement with InSAR observations of small-scale deformation on faults in the Eastern California Shear Zone in response to the 1992 Landers and 1999 Hector Mine earthquakes (Fialko et al., 2002; Fialko, 2004). The inferred compliant fault zones likely represent intense damage and may be quite commonly associated with large crustal faults.

Fialko, Y.  2007.  Fracture and Frictional Mechanics - Theory. Treatise on geophysics. 4( Schubert G, Ed.)., Amsterdam ; Boston: Elsevier
2006
Hamiel, Y, Katz O, Lyakhovsky V, Reches Z, Fialko Y.  2006.  Stable and unstable damage evolution in rocks with implications to fracturing of granite. Geophysical Journal International. 167:1005-1016.   10.1111/j.1365-246X.2006.03126.x   AbstractWebsite

We address the relation between the rock rigidity and crack density by comparing predictions of a viscoelastic damage rheology model to laboratory data that include direct microscopic mapping of cracks. The damage rheology provides a generalization of Hookean elasticity to a non-linear continuum mechanics framework incorporating degradation and recovery of the effective elastic properties, transition from stable to unstable fracturing, and gradual accumulation of irreversible deformation. This approach is based on the assumption that the density of microcracks is uniform over a length scale much larger than the length of a typical crack, yet much smaller than the size of the entire deforming domain. For a system with a sufficiently large number of cracks, one can define a representative volume in which the crack density is uniform and introduce an intensive damage variable for this volume. We tested our viscoelastic damage rheology against sets of laboratory experiments done on Mount Scott granite. Based on fitting the entire stress-strain records the damage variable is constrained, and found to be a linear function of the crack density. An advantage of these sets experiments is that they were preformed with different loading paths and explicitly demonstrated the existence of stable and unstable fracturing regimes. We demonstrate that the viscoelastic damage rheology provides an adequate quantitative description of the brittle rock deformation and simulates both the stable and unstable damage evolution under various loading conditions. Comparison between the presented data analysis of experiments with Mount Scott granite and previous results with Westerly granite and Berea sandstone indicates that granular or porous rocks have lower seismic coupling. This implies that the portion of elastic strain released during a seismic cycle as brittle deformation depends on the lithology of the region. Hence, upper crustal regions with thick sedimentary cover, or fault zones with high degree of damage are expected to undergo a more significant inelastic deformation in the interseismic period compared to 'intact' crystalline rocks.

Fialko, Y.  2006.  Interseismic strain accumulation and the earthquake potential on the southern San Andreas fault system. Nature. 441:968-971.   10.1038/nature04797   AbstractWebsite

The San Andreas fault in California is a mature continental transform fault that accommodates a significant fraction of motion between the North American and Pacific plates. The two most recent great earthquakes on this fault ruptured its northern and central sections in 1906 and 1857, respectively. The southern section of the fault, however, has not produced a great earthquake in historic times ( for at least 250 years). Assuming the average slip rate of a few centimetres per year, typical of the rest of the San Andreas fault, the minimum amount of slip deficit accrued on the southern section is of the order of 7 - 10 metres, comparable to the maximum co-seismic offset ever documented on the fault(1,2). Here I present high-resolution measurements of interseismic deformation across the southern San Andreas fault system using a well-populated catalogue of space-borne synthetic aperture radar data. The data reveal a nearly equal partitioning of deformation between the southern San Andreas and San Jacinto faults, with a pronounced asymmetry in strain accumulation with respect to the geologically mapped fault traces. The observed strain rates confirm that the southern section of the San Andreas fault may be approaching the end of the interseismic phase of the earthquake cycle.

Lin, GQ, Shearer P, Fialko Y.  2006.  Obtaining absolute locations for quarry seismicity using remote sensing data. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. 96:722-728.   10.1785/0120050146   AbstractWebsite

We obtain absolute locations for 19 clusters of mining-induced seismicity in southern California by identifying quarries using remote sensing data, including optical imagery and differential digital elevation models. These seismicity clusters contain 16,574 events from the Southern California Seismic Network from 1984 to 2002, which are flagged as quarry blasts but without any -round-truth location constraints. Using georeferenced airphotos and satellite radar topography data, we identify the likely sources of these events as quarries that are clearly visible within 1 to 2 km of the seismically determined locations. We then shift the clusters to align with the airphoto images, obtaining an estimated absolute location accuracy of similar to 200 m for the cluster centroids. The improved locations of these explosions should be helpful for constraining regional 3D velocity models.

2005
Khazan, Y, Fialko Y.  2005.  Why do kimberlites from different provinces have similar trace element patterns? Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 6   10.1029/2005gc000919   AbstractWebsite

Analysis of the trace element contents in kimberlites from various provinces around the world, including South Africa, India, and Yakutia ( Siberia, Russia), reveals remarkable similarity of the maximum abundances. In addition, we find that abundances of the rare earth elements ( REE) in the South African kimberlites are highly coherent between individual elements. We suggest that the observed similarity of the trace element patterns may result from a common physicochemical process operating in the kimberlite source region, rather than from peculiar source compositions and magmatic histories. The most likely candidates for such a process are ( 1) partial melting at very low melting degrees and ( 2) porous melt flow and diffusive exchange with the host rocks. These two processes can produce the same maximum trace element abundances and similar undersaturated patterns. We argue that the porous flow, and the associated chromatographic enrichment, is preferred because it allows high saturations at relatively large melt fractions of similar to 1%. Observations of enrichment of the xenolith grain rims due to an exchange with metasomatizing melts of quasi- kimberlitic composition imply that the melt percolated beyond the source region, in agreement with basic assumptions of the percolation model. We demonstrate that the saturated REE patterns are in a good agreement with the maximum observed REE abundances in kimberlites from different provinces. The theoretical patterns are independent of the melt fraction and only weakly ( if at all) depend on the source modal composition. Characteristic diverging fan- like patterns of trace elements predicted by the percolation model are identified in kimberlites from South Africa. We propose that a high coherency of the REE patterns in the South African kimberlites results from a general dependence of all REE abundances on the calcium content. According to this interpretation, the overall depletion of the source rocks in REE with temperature ( and depth) postulated by our model is a natural consequence of a decrease in the calcium content along the lherzolite trend.

Fialko, Y, Sandwell D, Simons M, Rosen P.  2005.  Three-dimensional deformation caused by the Bam, Iran, earthquake and the origin of shallow slip deficit. Nature. 435:295-299.   10.1038/nature03425   AbstractWebsite

Our understanding of the earthquake process requires detailed insights into how the tectonic stresses are accumulated and released on seismogenic faults. We derive the full vector displacement field due to the Bam, Iran, earthquake of moment magnitude 6.5 using radar data from the Envisat satellite of the European Space Agency. Analysis of surface deformation indicates that most of the seismic moment release along the 20-km-long strike-slip rupture occurred at a shallow depth of 4 - 5 km, yet the rupture did not break the surface. The Bam event may therefore represent an end-member case of the 'shallow slip deficit' model, which postulates that coseismic slip in the uppermost crust is systematically less than that at seismogenic depths ( 4 - 10 km). The InSAR-derived surface displacement data from the Bam and other large shallow earthquakes suggest that the uppermost section of the seismogenic crust around young and developing faults may undergo a distributed failure in the interseismic period, thereby accumulating little elastic strain.