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First direct observation of coseismic slip and seafloor rupture along a submarine normal fault and implications for fault slip history

First direct observation of coseismic slip and seafloor rupture along a submarine normal fault and implications for fault slip history
First direct observation of coseismic slip and seafloor rupture along a submarine normal fault and implications for fault slip history
Properly assessing the extent and magnitude of fault ruptures associated with large earthquakes is critical for understanding fault behavior and associated hazard. Submarine faults can trigger tsunamis, whose characteristics are defined by the geometry of seafloor displacement, studied primarily through indirect observations (e.g., seismic event parameters, seismic profiles, shipboard bathymetry, coring) rather than direct ones. Using deep-sea vehicles, we identify for the first time a marker of coseismic slip on a submarine fault plane along the Roseau Fault (Lesser Antilles), and measure its vertical displacement of ∼0.9 m in situ. We also map recent fissuring and faulting of sediments on the hangingwall, along ∼3 km of rupture in close proximity to the fault's base, and document the reactivation of erosion and sedimentation within and downslope of the scarp. These deformation structures were caused by the 2004 Mw 6.3 Les Saintes earthquake, which triggered a subsequent tsunami. Their characterization informs estimates of earthquake recurrence on this fault and provides new constraints on the geometry of fault rupture, which is both shorter and displays locally larger coseismic displacements than available model predictions that lack field constraints. This methodology of detailed field observations coupled with near-bottom geophysical surveying can be readily applied to numerous submarine fault systems, and should prove useful in evaluating seismic and tsunamigenic hazard in all geodynamic contexts.
earthquake, fault slip, microbathymetry, neotectonics, submarine fault, surface rupture
0012-821X
96-107
Escartín, Javier
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Leclerc, Frédérique
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Olive, Jean Arthur
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Mevel, Catherine
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Cannat, Mathilde
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Petersen, Sven
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Augustin, Nico
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Feuillet, Nathalie
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Deplus, Christine
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Bezos, Antoine
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Bonnemains, Diane
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Chavagnac, Valérie
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Choi, Yujin
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Godard, Marguerite
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Haaga, Kristian A.
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Jamieson, John W.
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John, Barbara E.
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Leleu, Thomas
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MacLeod, Christopher J.
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Massot-Campos, Miquel
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Paquet, Marine
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Rothenbeck, Marcel
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Steinführer, Anja
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Tominaga, Masako
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Triebe, Lars
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Campos, Ricard
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Gracias, Nuno
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Garcia, Rafael
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Andreani, Muriel
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Vilaseca, Géraud
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Escartín, Javier
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Leclerc, Frédérique
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Olive, Jean Arthur
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Mevel, Catherine
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Cannat, Mathilde
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Petersen, Sven
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Augustin, Nico
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Feuillet, Nathalie
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Choi, Yujin
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Leleu, Thomas
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MacLeod, Christopher J.
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Massot-Campos, Miquel
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Rothenbeck, Marcel
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Steinführer, Anja
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Tominaga, Masako
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Triebe, Lars
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Campos, Ricard
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Gracias, Nuno
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Garcia, Rafael
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Andreani, Muriel
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Vilaseca, Géraud
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Escartín, Javier, Leclerc, Frédérique, Olive, Jean Arthur, Mevel, Catherine, Cannat, Mathilde, Petersen, Sven, Augustin, Nico, Feuillet, Nathalie, Deplus, Christine, Bezos, Antoine, Bonnemains, Diane, Chavagnac, Valérie, Choi, Yujin, Godard, Marguerite, Haaga, Kristian A., Hamelin, Cédric, Ildefonse, Benoit, Jamieson, John W., John, Barbara E., Leleu, Thomas, MacLeod, Christopher J., Massot-Campos, Miquel, Nomikou, Paraskevi, Paquet, Marine, Rommevaux-Jestin, Céline, Rothenbeck, Marcel, Steinführer, Anja, Tominaga, Masako, Triebe, Lars, Campos, Ricard, Gracias, Nuno, Garcia, Rafael, Andreani, Muriel and Vilaseca, Géraud (2016) First direct observation of coseismic slip and seafloor rupture along a submarine normal fault and implications for fault slip history. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 450, 96-107. (doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2016.06.024).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Properly assessing the extent and magnitude of fault ruptures associated with large earthquakes is critical for understanding fault behavior and associated hazard. Submarine faults can trigger tsunamis, whose characteristics are defined by the geometry of seafloor displacement, studied primarily through indirect observations (e.g., seismic event parameters, seismic profiles, shipboard bathymetry, coring) rather than direct ones. Using deep-sea vehicles, we identify for the first time a marker of coseismic slip on a submarine fault plane along the Roseau Fault (Lesser Antilles), and measure its vertical displacement of ∼0.9 m in situ. We also map recent fissuring and faulting of sediments on the hangingwall, along ∼3 km of rupture in close proximity to the fault's base, and document the reactivation of erosion and sedimentation within and downslope of the scarp. These deformation structures were caused by the 2004 Mw 6.3 Les Saintes earthquake, which triggered a subsequent tsunami. Their characterization informs estimates of earthquake recurrence on this fault and provides new constraints on the geometry of fault rupture, which is both shorter and displays locally larger coseismic displacements than available model predictions that lack field constraints. This methodology of detailed field observations coupled with near-bottom geophysical surveying can be readily applied to numerous submarine fault systems, and should prove useful in evaluating seismic and tsunamigenic hazard in all geodynamic contexts.

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Accepted/In Press date: 16 June 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 30 June 2016
Published date: 15 September 2016
Keywords: earthquake, fault slip, microbathymetry, neotectonics, submarine fault, surface rupture

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 428785
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/428785
ISSN: 0012-821X
PURE UUID: e91a213c-5124-4aca-b653-9cc1bd0dbff5
ORCID for Miquel Massot-Campos: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1202-0362

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Date deposited: 08 Mar 2019 17:30
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 02:23

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Contributors

Author: Javier Escartín
Author: Frédérique Leclerc
Author: Jean Arthur Olive
Author: Catherine Mevel
Author: Mathilde Cannat
Author: Sven Petersen
Author: Nico Augustin
Author: Nathalie Feuillet
Author: Christine Deplus
Author: Antoine Bezos
Author: Diane Bonnemains
Author: Valérie Chavagnac
Author: Yujin Choi
Author: Marguerite Godard
Author: Kristian A. Haaga
Author: Cédric Hamelin
Author: Benoit Ildefonse
Author: John W. Jamieson
Author: Barbara E. John
Author: Thomas Leleu
Author: Christopher J. MacLeod
Author: Paraskevi Nomikou
Author: Marine Paquet
Author: Céline Rommevaux-Jestin
Author: Marcel Rothenbeck
Author: Anja Steinführer
Author: Masako Tominaga
Author: Lars Triebe
Author: Ricard Campos
Author: Nuno Gracias
Author: Rafael Garcia
Author: Muriel Andreani
Author: Géraud Vilaseca

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