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Earthquakes and Seismotectonics Chapter 5. The term “Earthquake” is ambiguous: The term “Earthquake” is ambiguous: Applies to general shaking of the ground.

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Presentation on theme: "Earthquakes and Seismotectonics Chapter 5. The term “Earthquake” is ambiguous: The term “Earthquake” is ambiguous: Applies to general shaking of the ground."— Presentation transcript:

1 Earthquakes and Seismotectonics Chapter 5

2 The term “Earthquake” is ambiguous: The term “Earthquake” is ambiguous: Applies to general shaking of the ground and to the source of the shaking Applies to general shaking of the ground and to the source of the shaking We will talk about both, but are mainly concerned with the latter We will talk about both, but are mainly concerned with the latter Earthquakes occur due to Earthquakes occur due to Sudden motion on a fault Sudden motion on a fault Formation of a new fault Formation of a new fault Slip on an existing fault Slip on an existing fault Movement of magma / explosion of a volcano Movement of magma / explosion of a volcano Landslides Landslides Meteorite impacts Meteorite impacts Underground nuclear bomb tests / mine collapses Underground nuclear bomb tests / mine collapses What Creates Earthquakes? Offset

3 Earthquake Terminology Hypocenter (Focus): actual location of the earthquake at depth Hypocenter (Focus): actual location of the earthquake at depth Epicenter: location on the surface of the Earth above the hypocenter Epicenter: location on the surface of the Earth above the hypocenter Hanging Wall: top block of a fault (where a light would hang from) Hanging Wall: top block of a fault (where a light would hang from) Footwall: bottom block of a fault (where you would stand) Footwall: bottom block of a fault (where you would stand)

4 Types of Faults In general, faults come in three different types: Normal, Reverse, and Strike-Slip In general, faults come in three different types: Normal, Reverse, and Strike-Slip Shallow angle (< 30 ° ) reverse faults are called thrust faults Shallow angle (< 30 ° ) reverse faults are called thrust faults Faults that have a mix of slip styles are called oblique slip faults Faults that have a mix of slip styles are called oblique slip faults See: Fault animations online

5 Normal Faults: from stretching of or extending rock; points on opposite sides of a fault are father apart after an earthquake Normal Faults: from stretching of or extending rock; points on opposite sides of a fault are father apart after an earthquake Reverse Faults: from contracting or squishing rock; points on opposite sides of the fault are closer together after an earthquake Reverse Faults: from contracting or squishing rock; points on opposite sides of the fault are closer together after an earthquake Strike-Slip: can form in either areas of stretching or squishing, material slides laterally past each side of the fault. Strike-Slip: can form in either areas of stretching or squishing, material slides laterally past each side of the fault. – Described by sense of motion: Right-lateral (Dextral) Right-lateral (Dextral) Left-lateral (Sinistral) Left-lateral (Sinistral) Why are there different types of faults?

6 Formation of Faults Faults and thus earthquakes form because of stress & strain Faults and thus earthquakes form because of stress & strain – Plate motion causes rocks to deform or bend – Stress and strain become localized – Eventually the strength of the rock is overcome – BAM!! The rock ruptures and snaps forward releasing the accumulated stress/strain. The process is known as elastic rebound theory The process is known as elastic rebound theory Elastic strain: strain that is recoverable New cracks form and link together A through-going fault forms and sliding occurs causing a stress drop

7 Faults & Friction Like a brick sliding across a table, faults, too, are subject to friction Like a brick sliding across a table, faults, too, are subject to friction Friction, on the micro-scale, is caused by asperities, bumps and irregularities along a surface that resist sliding Friction, on the micro-scale, is caused by asperities, bumps and irregularities along a surface that resist sliding All other factors equal, faults with more cumulative slip may be smoother and therefore have lower friction (e.g. the San Andreas Fault has very low friction) All other factors equal, faults with more cumulative slip may be smoother and therefore have lower friction (e.g. the San Andreas Fault has very low friction) Once a fault is formed it is a permanent scar that is weaker than the surrounding rock Once a fault is formed it is a permanent scar that is weaker than the surrounding rock

8 Stick Slip Behavior - Without stick slip behavior, large earthquakes would not happen! - Faults would constantly move (i.e. creep) and not build up significant stress

9 The Earthquake Cycle: A Simple View [ Initial Conditions ] - Plate motion begins - Fence is straight [ Step 1 ] - Plate motion continues - Stress/strain is localized on fault - Fence is strained/deformed - Deformation is recoverable (elastic) [ Step 2 ] - Plate motion continues - Stress/strain exceeds rock strength - The fault slips (ruptures) - Fence is broken into two undeformed pieces

10 Measuring Motion Across a Fault M Great San Francisco Earthquake

11 Locating Earthquakes Often we don’t see surface rupture after an EQ Often we don’t see surface rupture after an EQ – Earthquakes occur deep in the Earth. To locate EQ’s we can’t just look at first arrivals of P-waves To locate EQ’s we can’t just look at first arrivals of P-waves – Time = 0 is unknown – Seismic velocity is non-uniform – Can only get a potential epicentral area Instead we rely on the difference in arrival times Instead we rely on the difference in arrival times – v s ≈ 0.55 v p

12 Locating Earthquakes Because P-waves travel fastest, they will always be recorded first Because P-waves travel fastest, they will always be recorded first – The farther from the source, the more S-wave lag. If we calculate the difference in arrival times of S- and P-waves, we can then calculate the distance to epicenter If we calculate the difference in arrival times of S- and P-waves, we can then calculate the distance to epicenter – Called the S-P interval

13 S-P Intervals The S-P time only tells distance, not direction The S-P time only tells distance, not direction A minimum of three stations are needed to calculate epicenter location A minimum of three stations are needed to calculate epicenter location – Called triangulation

14 Triangulation One station gives infinite possible epicentral locationsOne station gives infinite possible epicentral locations Two stations give two possible locationsTwo stations give two possible locations Three stations give one locationThree stations give one location In practice there is some errorIn practice there is some error The epicenter is located where these circles from multiple stations all intersectThe epicenter is located where these circles from multiple stations all intersect Station #1 Station #2 Station #3

15 Triangulation One station gives infinite possible epicentral locationsOne station gives infinite possible epicentral locations Two stations give two possible locationsTwo stations give two possible locations Three stations give one locationThree stations give one location In practice there is some errorIn practice there is some error The epicenter is located where these circles from multiple stations all intersectThe epicenter is located where these circles from multiple stations all intersect

16 How is Earthquake Depth Determined? Seismologists determine hypocenter depth by: Seismologists determine hypocenter depth by: – Determining the arrival of the pP ray – Calculating the p-pP lag time and plugging it into an equation Hypocenter depth also effects S-P intervals, but this is usually accounted for Hypocenter depth also effects S-P intervals, but this is usually accounted for – Most regions have earthquakes at a limited range of depth

17 Fault Plane Solutions Along with hypocenter location, seismograms can be used to determine the type of fault that caused the EQ Along with hypocenter location, seismograms can be used to determine the type of fault that caused the EQ …But first we need to review how to quantify the orientation of a plane! …But first we need to review how to quantify the orientation of a plane!

18 Measuring Orientation: Strike and Dip In order to characterize geologic structures, one must be able to quantify the orientation of structures. In order to characterize geologic structures, one must be able to quantify the orientation of structures. For Planar features we use: Strike: The orientation of the intersection line between a horizontal surface and the feature of interest. Measured with a compass. Strike: The orientation of the intersection line between a horizontal surface and the feature of interest. Measured with a compass. – E.g. north, N45W, 285, etc… Dip: The acute angle between the feature of interest and a horizontal plane. Dip: The acute angle between the feature of interest and a horizontal plane. – E.g. 0° = horizontal 90° = vertical For linear features we use: Trend: the trend of the line if you were looking down on the feature from aboveTrend: the trend of the line if you were looking down on the feature from above –E.g. north, NW, 320, 090, etc… Plunge: Acute angle between the line and a horizontalPlunge: Acute angle between the line and a horizontal –E.g. 46°, 75°, etc…

19 Fault Plane Solutions Consider a peg struck by a hammer… Consider a peg struck by a hammer… – Only P-waves to the N-S Greatest amplitude directly ahead and behind…i.e. N-S Greatest amplitude directly ahead and behind…i.e. N-S Amplitude decreases away from N-S direction Amplitude decreases away from N-S direction Dilatational first arrival to the S Dilatational first arrival to the S Contractional first arrival to the N Contractional first arrival to the N – Only S-waves to E-W same is true for S-waves…almost same is true for S-waves…almost all first arrivals have the same sense of motion all first arrivals have the same sense of motion – S-waves are of little to no help in determining the fault orientation How do we know if the first arrival is dilatational or contractional?

20 Fault in a Box Faults Generate Contraction and Extension The hammer and peg example is too simple The hammer and peg example is too simple Both sides of a fault move Both sides of a fault move – Contraction and extension are both generated during slip Extension Extension Extension Extension Contraction Contraction Contraction Contraction Geologists call this σ 1 σ 1 maximum compressive stress direction maximum compressive stress direction Seismologists call this P-axis (sometimes C-axis) P-axis (sometimes C-axis) Pressure axis (compression axis) Pressure axis (compression axis) Geologists call this σ 3 σ 3 minimum compressive stress direction minimum compressive stress direction Seismologists call this T-axis T-axis Tension axis Tension axis

21 Focal Mechanisms Extension Extension Extension Extension Contraction Contraction Contraction Contraction Both sides of a fault move, so the radiation pattern is more complex. Both sides of a fault move, so the radiation pattern is more complex. Seismologists use the pattern of first arrivals to determine several properties of the causative fault Seismologists use the pattern of first arrivals to determine several properties of the causative fault – strike, dip, and slip vector rake. – we call these focal mechanisms, moment tensors, or beach balls

22 The Double Couple Mechanism Before an earthquake, rock is sheared Before an earthquake, rock is sheared The rock cannot rotate, so there must be other stresses involved. The rock cannot rotate, so there must be other stresses involved.

23 The Double Couple Mechanism If two shear stresses are involved If two shear stresses are involved – the rock can undergo shear strain without rotating – called the double couple but this causes ambiguity in the focal mechanism solution… but this causes ambiguity in the focal mechanism solution…

24 The Auxiliary Plane Because of the double couple Because of the double couple – no rotation is allowed Focal mechanisms predict two potential fault planes collectively called: nodal planes Focal mechanisms predict two potential fault planes collectively called: nodal planes – the fault plane – the auxillary plane

25 Which Plane is the Fault? What are the two potential fault orientations? What are the two potential fault orientations? How do we know which is the real fault? How do we know which is the real fault? – Sometimes logic combined with a little Occam’s Razor – Aftershocks & Historical seismicity – How else could we determine the fault plane?

26 Geology!!!

27 The Focal Sphere The process just outlined is fine for strike-slip events, but we need a general method for any type of fault. The process just outlined is fine for strike-slip events, but we need a general method for any type of fault. To do this we use the focal sphere To do this we use the focal sphere – just like your favorite part of structural geology Stereonets!!! Stereonets!!!

28 Strike & Dip: The Stereonet Way Strike = 090 Strike = 090 Dip = 90 ⁰ Dip = 90 ⁰ Dip Direction = N/A Dip Direction = N/A

29 Strike & Dip: The Stereonet Way Strike = 000 Strike = 000 Dip = 90 ⁰ Dip = 90 ⁰ Dip Direction = N/A Dip Direction = N/A

30 Strike & Dip: The Stereonet Way Strike = 000 Strike = 000 Dip = 80 ⁰ Dip = 80 ⁰ Dip Direction = East Dip Direction = East

31 Strike & Dip: The Stereonet Way Strike = 000 Strike = 000 Dip = 60 ⁰ Dip = 60 ⁰ Dip Direction = East Dip Direction = East

32 Strike & Dip: The Stereonet Way Strike = 000 Strike = 000 Dip = 45 ⁰ Dip = 45 ⁰ Dip Direction = East Dip Direction = East

33 Strike & Dip: The Stereonet Way Strike = 000 Strike = 000 Dip = 30 ⁰ Dip = 30 ⁰ Dip Direction = East Dip Direction = East

34 Strike & Dip: The Stereonet Way Strike = 000 Strike = 000 Dip = 10 ⁰ Dip = 10 ⁰ Dip Direction = East Dip Direction = East

35 Strike & Dip: The Stereonet Way Strike = 045 Strike = 045 Dip = 45 ⁰ Dip = 45 ⁰ Dip Direction = SE Dip Direction = SE

36 Strike & Dip: The Stereonet Way Strike = 135 Strike = 135 Dip = 80 ⁰ Dip = 80 ⁰ Dip Direction = SW Dip Direction = SW

37 Strike & Dip: The Stereonet Way Strike = 280 Strike = 280 Dip = 60 ⁰ Dip = 60 ⁰ Dip Direction = NE Dip Direction = NE

38 Beach Balls For Standard Fault Types For faults with pure dip-slip or pure strike-slip motion the focal mechanisms are relatively straightforward For faults with pure dip-slip or pure strike-slip motion the focal mechanisms are relatively straightforward

39 Focal Mechanisms For Oblique Slip Focal mechanisms can also determine the direction of slip Focal mechanisms can also determine the direction of slip – Called the slip vector rake, or just “rake” – 180 ≥ rake ≥ -180 – 0 = left-lateral, 180/-180 right-lateral – 90 = reverse slip -90 = normal slip – 45 = ? 120 = ?

40 Calculating Focal Mechanisms Although it is impractical to put seismometers deep in the ground, we can still detect waves that are radiated in all directions from a hypocenter Although it is impractical to put seismometers deep in the ground, we can still detect waves that are radiated in all directions from a hypocenter We can trace P-waves back to their source using: We can trace P-waves back to their source using: – inverse methods – the ray parameter, p We can then calculate the take-off angle We can then calculate the take-off angle – relative to vertical – this tells seismologists where to plot each station on the focal sphere (stereonet) – can get azimuth to source from triangulation

41 Calculating Focal Mechanisms

42 Odd Focal Mechanism? Really think about what the focal sphere represents… Really think about what the focal sphere represents… – Why are certain parts are black and others white? – This is all black? What could cause this? What could cause this?


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