|Subducting seamounts control interplate coupling and seismic rupture in the 2014 Iquique earthquake area
|Year of Publication
|Geersen J.a, Ranero C.R.b, Barckhausen U.c, Reichert C.c
|To date, the parameters that determine the rupture area of great subduction zone earthquakes remain contentious. On 1 April 2014, the Mw 8.1 Iquique earthquake ruptured a portion of the well-recognized northern Chile seismic gap but left large highly coupled areas un-ruptured. Marine seismic reflection and swath bathymetric data indicate that structural variations in the subducting Nazca Plate control regional-scale plate-coupling variations, and the limited extent of the 2014 earthquake. Several under-thrusting seamounts correlate to the southward and up-dip arrest of seismic rupture during the 2014 Iquique earthquake, thus supporting a causal link. By fracturing of the overriding plate, the subducting seamounts are likely further responsible for reduced plate-coupling in the shallow subduction zone and in a lowly coupled region around 20.5°S. Our data support that structural variations in the lower plate influence coupling and seismic rupture offshore Northern Chile, whereas the structure of the upper plate plays a minor role. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.