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Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 88; doi:10.3390/app7010088

Strong Aftershock Study Based on Coulomb Stress Triggering—A Case Study on the 2016 Ecuador Mw 7.8 Earthquake

1
Key Laboratory of Earthquake Geodesy, Institute of Seismology, CEA, Wuhan 430071, China
2
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gangbing Song
Received: 8 December 2016 / Revised: 10 January 2017 / Accepted: 12 January 2017 / Published: 20 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) of Civil Structures)
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Abstract

The 2016 Ecuador M 7.8 earthquake ruptured the subduction zone boundary between the Nazca plate and the South America plate. This M 7.8 earthquake may have promoted failure in the surrounding crust, where six M ≥ 6 aftershocks occurred following this mainshock. These crustal ruptures were triggered by the high coulomb stress changes produced by the M 7.8 mainshock. Here, we investigate whether the six M ≥ 6 aftershocks are consistent with the positive coulomb stress region due to the mainshock. To explore the correlation between the mainshock and the aftershocks, we adopt a recently published high-quality finite fault model and focal mechanisms to study the coulomb stress triggers during the M 7.8 earthquake sequence. We compute the coulomb failure stress changes (ΔCFS) on both of the focal mechanism nodal planes. We compare the ΔCFS imparted by the M 7.8 mainshock on the subsequent aftershocks with the epicenter location of each aftershock. In addition, the shear stress, normal stress, and coulomb stress changes in the focal sources of each aftershock are also computed. Coulomb stress changes in the focal source for the six M ≥ 6 aftershocks are in the range of −2.17–7.564 bar. Only one computational result for the M 6.9 aftershock is negative; other results are positive. We found that the vast majority of the six M ≥ 6 aftershocks occurred in positive coulomb stress areas triggered by the M 7.8 mainshock. Our results suggest that the coulomb stress changes contributed to the development of the Ecuador M 7.8 earthquake sequence. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ecuador M 7.8 earthquake; finite fault model; coulomb failure stress; stress triggering; focal mechanisms Ecuador M 7.8 earthquake; finite fault model; coulomb failure stress; stress triggering; focal mechanisms
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Wu, J.; Cai, Y.; Li, W.; Feng, Q. Strong Aftershock Study Based on Coulomb Stress Triggering—A Case Study on the 2016 Ecuador Mw 7.8 Earthquake. Appl. Sci. 2017, 7, 88.

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