Stress before and after the 2002 Denali fault earthquake

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Abstract

[1] Spatially averaged, absolute deviatoric stress tensors along the faults ruptured during the 2002 Denali fault earthquake, both before and after the event, are derived, using a new method, from estimates of the orientations of the principal stresses and the stress change associated with the earthquake. Stresses are estimated in three regions along the Denali fault, one of which also includes the Susitna Glacier fault, and one region along the Totschunda fault. Estimates of the spatially averaged shear stress before the earthquake resolved onto the faults that ruptured during the event range from near 1 MPa to near 4 MPa. Shear stresses estimated along the faults in all these regions after the event are near zero (0 ± 1 MPa). These results suggest that deviatoric stresses averaged over a few tens of km along strike are low, and that the stress drop during the earthquake was complete or nearly so.

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