Aftershock sequence of the 1994, Mw 6.8, Liwa Earthquake (Indonesia): Seismic Rupture process in a volcanic arc

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Abstract

We present the aftershock activity following the February 15, 1994, Mw 6.8 earthquake which was strongly felt in southern Sumatra, Indonesia, near the Great Sumatran Fault (GSF). At this place, the slip rate is supposed to be low; neverthless, three M>6 events occurred along this segment during this century. No significant instrumental microseismicity has ever been recorded there. We use data from both the regional Indonesian network and a local seismic array operating 11 days after the mainshock during one month. Aftershocks mostly locate in a broad zone of 55 × 20 km² near two active NW-trending strike-slip segments of the GSF separated by a recent caldera, Suwoh. During the experiment, the NW segment (from Suwoh up to 15 km SE of the Ranau lake caldera, an old right-stepover pull-apart) was very active. As first suggested by the aftershock distribution and the lack of coseismic rupture at the surface, the 20 focal mechanisms determined provide evidence for various post-seismic stress adjustments on secondary faults located in the Ranau-Suwoh paleo-pull-apart graben. Less than 20% of the aftershocks are directly linked to the main rupture, a nearly pure right-lateral strike-slip faulting reaching 25 km depth. A narrow seismic gap underlines the active volcanic area of Suwoh. We conclude that the rupture process along the GSF is controlled both by volcanism and structures, and that the volcanic activity affects the mechanical properties of the crust only in a narrow zone.

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