Spectral scaling of the aftershocks of the Tocopilla 2007 earthquake in northern Chile

  • Lancieri M
  • Madariaga R
  • Bonilla F
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We study the scaling of spectral properties of a set of 68 aftershocks of the 2007 November 14 Tocopilla (M 7.8) earthquake in northern Chile. These are all subduction events with similar reverse faulting focal mechanism that were recorded by a homogenous network of continuously recording strong motion instruments. The seismic moment and the corner frequency are obtained assuming that the aftershocks satisfy an inverse omega-square spectral decay; radiated energy is computed integrating the square velocity spectrum corrected for attenuation at high frequencies and for the finite bandwidth effect. Using a graphical approach, we test the scaling of seismic spectrum, and the scale invariance of the apparent stress drop with the earthquake size. To test whether the Tocopilla aftershocks scale with a single parameter, we introduce a non-dimensional number, that should be constant if earthquakes are self-similar. For the Tocopilla aftershocks, C r varies by a factor of 2. More interestingly, C r for the aftershocks is close to 2, the value that is expected for events that are approximately modelled by a circular crack. Thus, in spite of obvious differences in waveforms, the aftershocks of the Tocopilla earthquake are self-similar. The main shock is different because its records contain large near-field waves. Finally, we investigate the scaling of energy release rate, G c, with the slip. We estimated G c from our previous estimates of the source parameters, assuming a simple circular crack model. We find that G c values scale with the slip, and are in good agreement with those found by Abercrombie and Rice for the Northridge aftershocks. © 2012 The Authors Geophysical Journal International © 2012 RAS.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Earthquake dynamics
  • Earthquake ground motions
  • Earthquake source observations

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