The 2 March 2016 Wharton Basin Mw 7.8 earthquake: High stress drop north-south strike-slip rupture in the diffuse oceanic deformation zone between the Indian and Australian Plates

Thorne Lay, Lingling Ye, Charles J. Ammon, Audrey Dunham, Keith D. Koper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

The diffuse deformation zone between the Indian and Australian plates has hosted numerous major and great earthquakes during the seismological record, including the 11 April 2012 Mw 8.6 event, the largest recorded intraplate earthquake. On 2 March 2016, an Mw 7.8 strike-slip faulting earthquake occurred in the northwestern Wharton Basin, in a region bracketed by north-south trending fracture zones with no previously recorded large event nearby. Despite the large magnitude, only minor source finiteness is evident in aftershock locations or resolvable from seismic wave processing including high-frequency P wave backprojections and Love wave directivity analysis. Our analyses indicate that the event ruptured bilaterally on a north-south trending fault over a length of up to 70 km, with rupture speed of ≤ 2 km/s, and a total duration of ~35 s. The estimated stress drop, ~20 MPa, is high, comparable to estimates for other large events in this broad intraplate oceanic deformation zone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7937-7945
Number of pages9
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume43
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 16 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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