Seven years of postseismic deformation following the 2003 Mw = 6.8 Zemmouri earthquake (Algeria) from InSAR time series

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Abstract

[1] We study the postseismic surface deformation of the Mw 6.8, 2003 Zemmouri earthquake (northern Algeria) using the Multi-Temporal Small Baseline InSAR technique. InSAR time series obtained from 31 Envisat ASAR images from 2003 to 2010 reveal sub-cm coastline ground movements between Cap Matifou and Dellys. Two regions display subsidence at a maximum rate of 2 mm/yr in Cap Djenet and 3.5 mm/yr in Boumerdes. These regions correlate well with areas of maximum coseismic uplifts, and their association with two rupture segments. Inverse modeling suggest that subsidence in the areas of high coseismic uplift can be explained by afterslip on shallow sections (<5 km) of the fault above the areas of coseismic slip, in agreement with previous GPS observations. The earthquake impact on soft sediments and the ground water table southwest of the earthquake area, characterizes ground deformation of non-tectonic origin. The cumulative postseismic moment due to 7 years afterslip is equivalent to an Mw 6.3 earthquake. Therefore, the postseismic deformation and stress buildup has significant implications on the earthquake cycle models and recurrence intervals of large earthquakes in the Algiers area.

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