Long-period analysis of the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake

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Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, ISSN: 0031-9201, Vol: 265, Page: 62-66

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Z. Duputel; L. Rivera
Elsevier BV
Physics and Astronomy; Earth and Planetary Sciences
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article description
The recent Mw=7.8 Kaikoura (New Zealand) earthquake involved a remarkably complex rupture propagating in an intricate network of faults at the transition between the Alpine fault in the South Island and the Kermadec-Tonga subduction zone. We investigate the main features of this complicated rupture process using long-period seismological observations. Apparent Rayleigh-wave moment-rate functions reveal a clear northeastward directivity with an unusually weak rupture initiation during 60 s followed by a major 20 s burst of moment rate. To further explore the rupture process, we perform a Bayesian exploration of multiple point-source parameters in a 3-D Earth model. The results show that the rupture initiated as a small strike-slip rupture and propagated to the northeast, triggering large slip on both strike-slip and thrust faults. The Kaikoura earthquake is thus a rare instance in which slip on intraplate faults trigger extensive interplate thrust faulting. This clearly outlines the importance of accounting for secondary faults when assessing seismic and tsunami hazard in subduction zones.