2022 Mainshock and aftershock sequence simulations in a nonplanar fault network

By So Ozawa1, Ryosuke Ando1

1. University of Tokyo



Published on


Aftershocks seem to be located along the trace of the mainshock fault; however, due to the location error, we do not know their exact location relative to the mainshock fault. Here, we hypothesize that most aftershocks occur on small subsidiary faults instead of the mainshock fault, and they are triggered by the local increase of stress due to the rough geometry of the mainshock fault. To explore this scenario, we perform 2-D earthquake sequence simulations considering a rough main fault and numerous subsidiary faults that obey the rate and state friction law. We show that many aftershocks occur at the side of the main fault, delineating the main fault trace. We also show that the roughness of the main fault decreases the concentration of aftershocks around the tip of the mainshock fault. Our numerical simulation reproduces the Omori-Utsu law for the temporal decay of aftershocks and the log-time expansion of the aftershock zone. This is one of the first earthquake sequence simulations based on the continuum mechanics framework that reproduces realistic spatiotemporal aftershock activities.