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PUBLISHED ONLINE: 25 JANUARY 2009 DOI: 10.1038/NGEO419 Generation of intermediate-depth earthquakes
 

Summary: LETTERS
PUBLISHED ONLINE: 25 JANUARY 2009 DOI: 10.1038/NGEO419
Generation of intermediate-depth earthquakes
by self-localizing thermal runaway
Timm John1
*
, Sergei Medvedev1
, Lars H. Rüpke1,2
, Torgeir B. Andersen1
, Yuri Y. Podladchikov1
and Håkon Austrheim1
Intermediate-depth (50­300 km) earthquakes commonly
occur along convergent plate margins but their causes remain
unclear. In the absence of pore-fluid pressures that are
sufficiently high to counter the confining pressure in such
settings, brittle failure is unlikely. In such conditions, the rocks
could fail by the mechanism of progressively self-localizing
thermal runaway1
, whereby ductile deformation in shear zones
leads to heating, thermal softening and weakening of rock1­3

  

Source: Andersen, Torgeir Bjørge - Centre for Physics of Geological Processes & Department of Geosciences, Universitetet i Oslo
Podladchikov, Yuri - Centre for Physics of Geological Processes, Universitetet i Oslo

 

Collections: Geosciences