Geometry of Continental Normal Faults: Seismological Constraints

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Teleseismic body waves from large earthquakes are used to study the downdip geometry of continental normal faults in the Aegean. Waveform modeling techniques together with rigorous statistical tests are applied to put firm bounds on the amount of downdip curvature of these faults and the role of coseismic slip on a basal detachment. Synthetic modeling shows that good azimuthal station coverage and inclusion of SH waves are necessary to resolve fault curvature. The data indicate ruptures of the Aegean events occurred on planar faults extending across the entire brittle portion of the crust. No seismogenic low-angle detachment faulting at the base of the upper crust was detected for these events. Decoupling of the brittle upper crust from the plastic lower crust probably occurs aseismically in a ductile fashion.

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Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 101, issue B2, p. 3045-3052