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Analysis of the 2017 Valparaiso Earthquake Sequence
  • Luc Moutote,
  • Olivier Lengliné,
  • Zacharie Duputel
Luc Moutote
Institut Terre et Environnement de Strasbourg, UMR7063, Université de Strasbourg/EOST, CNRS

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Olivier Lengliné
Institut Terre et Environnement de Strasbourg, UMR7063, Université de Strasbourg/EOST, CNRS
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Zacharie Duputel
Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise, Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, Université de Paris, CNRS
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One of the key questions in fault mechanics is how do earthquakes begin ? This is central to our understanding of earthquakes, including the long controversial issue of their predictability. Earthquakes preceding large events are commonly referred to as foreshocks. They are often considered as precursory phenomena reflecting a nucleation process of the main rupture potentially driven by an underlying slow pre-slip. On the other hand, some studies suggest that foreshock sequences may only be explained by cascades of triggered events. In this work, we choose to test the cascading hypothesis against the foreshock seismicity observed during a previously reported slow slip event preceding the 2017 Mw=6.9 Valparaiso earthquake. We build a very complete 5 years long earthquake catalog of the sequence using refine detection and location algorithms. We test the detected seismicity against the Epidemic Type Aftershock Sequences model. We identify time windows with anomalously high seismic activity compared to what is expected by the typical earthquake interactions. We analyze statistically these anomalies over 5 years to understand if the Mw=6.9 foreshock sequence presents a specific anomalous activity. In addition, using a hierarchical clustering method, we identify earthquakes with similar waveforms to evidence any repeating ruptures. We analyze the time distribution of these clusters over 5 years to understand if unusual rates of repeating events emerge during foreshock time ranges. The conjoint analysis of seismicity rate anomalies and repeating events along with the results of previous pre-slip studies allows to accurately describe the nucleation process and evolution of the 2017 Valparaiso earthquake sequence.