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TitleThermal structure and megathrust seismogenic potential of the Makran subduction zone
AuthorSmith, G L; McNeil, L C; Wang, KORCID logo; He, J; Henstock, T J
SourceGeophysical Research Letters vol. 40, 2013 p. 1-6, Open Access logo Open Access
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20120387
Mediaon-line; digital
File formatpdf
AreaIndian Ocean
Lat/Long WENS 58.0000 66.0000 28.0000 22.0000
Subjectstectonics; geophysics; earthquakes; earthquake studies; earthquake catalogues; subduction; subduction zones; tsunami; seismicity; Makran Subduction Zone; geological hazards
Illustrationslocation maps; tables; profiles; plots
ProgramPublic Safety Geoscience, Targeted Hazard Assessments in Western Canada
Released2013 04 30
AbstractThe Makran subduction zone experienced a tsunamigenic Mw 8.1 earthquake in 1945 and recent, smaller earthquakes also suggest seismicity on the megathrust; however, its historical record is limited and hazard potential enigmatic. We have developed a 2-D thermal model of the subduction zone. The results are twofold: (1) The thick sediment cover on the incoming plate leads to high (~150°) plate boundary temperatures at the deformation front making the megathrust potentially seismogenic to a shallow depth, and (2) the shallow dip of the subducting plate leads to a wide potential seismogenic zone (up to ~350 km). Combining these results with along strike rupture scenarios indicates that Mw8.7 - 9.2 earthquakes are possible in the seaward Makran subduction zone. These results have important earthquake and tsunami hazard implications, particularly for the adjacent coastlines of Pakistan, Iran, Oman, and India, as the Makran has not been previously considered a likely candidate for a Mw>9 earthquake.

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