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Geological Sciences

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Two-hour position estimates from a continuous GPS station located at Arequipa, Peru, document precursory deformation beginning 18 hours prior to an Mw = 7.6 aftershock of the June 23rd 2001 Mw = 8.4 earthquake. This preseismic signal appears on the north and east components as a slow displacement with an amplitude twice that of the subsequent coseismic. Analysis of three years of 18-hour rate measurement shows this signal to be unprecedented and beyond four standard deviations from the mean rate. The best fitting centroid is directionally consistent with slow slip along the plate interface and suggests the preseismic deformation arises from creep near the aftershock rupture. This implies the Nazca-South American plate interface slipped slowly prior to seismogenic faulting. These observations indicate the Mw = 7.6 earthquake grew out of slow slip along the plate interface and clearly demonstrate the breadth of slip rates accommodated by subduction zone plate interfaces.


Geophysical Research Letters


Copyright © 2002 the American Geophysical Union

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