Aftershocks to Philippine quake found within nearby megathrust fault

Authors


Abstract

On 31 August 2012 a magnitude 7.6 earthquake ruptured deep beneath the sea floor of the Philippine Trench, a powerful intraplate earthquake centered seaward of the plate boundary. In the wake of the main shock, sensors detected a flurry of aftershocks, counting 110 in total. Drawing on seismic wave observations and rupture mechanisms calculated for the aftershocks, Ye et al. found that many were located near the epicenter of the main intraplate quake but at shallower depth; all involved normal faulting. Some shallow thrusting aftershocks were located farther to the west, centered within the potentially dangerous megathrust fault formed by the subduction of the Philippine Sea plate beneath the Philippine microplate, the piece of crust housing the Philippine Islands.