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The distribution of historic earthquakes in the Sumatra subduction zone reveals, in the forearc region, the intense seismic activity and frequent occurrences of Mw > 8 earthquakes throughout the whole area. In contrast, the neighbouring region has less dense seismicity and no large earthquake greater than Mw8 has been observed in the Java subduction zone. Such different seismic behaviours may be due to distinct degrees of the stress accumulation and release. In this study, the strength of plate coupling inferred from mantle lithosphere buoyancy (Hm) estimation is used to explain the seismogenic behaviour in the Sunda-Andaman subduction zone. Strong and weak plate coupling status are obtained in the Sumatra and Java subduction zones, respectively. These results can explain the significant differences in seismogenic behaviours in the Sunda-Andaman subduction zone. In assessing the global implications of this finding, we observe that uplifted serpentinized forearc mantle peridotite is the critical phenomenon in weak plate coupling cases and leads to a limit on the width of the coupling zone. Strong plate coupling can cause a relatively low gravity anomaly as well as a negative trench-parallel gravity anomaly (TPGA) in the forearc regions and correlates well with the occurrence of large earthquakes, whereas weak plate coupling can cause a positive TPGA and constrain the potential occurrence of large earthquakes.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Geophysical Journal International|
|State||Published - 1 Feb 2020|
- Dynamics: gravity and tectonics
- Dynamics: seismotectonics
- Earthquake source observations
- Gravity anomalies and Earth structure
- Subduction zone processes
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Mantle Lithosphere Buoyancy Variation Reflect Seismogenic Behavior in Subduction Zones
1/08/19 → 31/07/20