In a complex geological environment, it is generally difficult to assimilate a complete understanding of the main stress regime without being distracted by various fault configurations. In this study, we examine the changes in radial seismic moment (Mrr) of earthquakes that occurred in the Sumatra area. This approach allows for simplification of the various focal mechanism solutions by compressive and extensional slip vectors. The results show that the epicenter of the 2004 mainshock is located near the area where the accumulated Mrr was highest during the inter-seismic period. Simultaneously, a pattern of negative accumulated Mrr observed at depths between 40 and 100 km suggests a down-dip extension mechanism caused by the slab pull effect, which could be strengthened by the locking procedure in shallow portions of the slab. Moreover, the right-lateral strike-slip Sumatra Fault and the left-lateral oceanic fracture zones exhibited positive and negative accumulated Mrr prior to and immediately after the 2004 mainshock. This transform of Mrr indicates stress release associated with the unlocking of the asperities during the earthquake. Therefore, the distinctly different Mrr patterns for the inter- and post-seismic period suggest that the occurrence of a substantial earthquake could change the intraplate stress state.
- 2004 Sumatra–Andaman earthquake
- Focal mechanism
- Intraplate stress
- Seismic moment tensor
- Subduction zone