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Spatial-temporal variation of low-frequency earthquake bursts near Parkfield, California
Guyer, Robert A.
Johnson, Paul A.
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Tectonic tremor (TT) and low-frequency earthquakes (LFEs) have been found in the deeper crust of various tectonic environments globally in the last decade. The spatial-temporal behaviour of LFEs provides insight into deep fault zone processes. In this study, we examine recurrence times from a 12-yr catalogue of 88 LFE families with similar to 730 000 LFEs in the vicinity of the Parkfield section of the San Andreas Fault (SAF) in central California. We apply an automatic burst detection algorithm to the LFE recurrence times to identify the clustering behaviour of LFEs (LFE bursts) in each family. We find that the burst behaviours in the northern and southern LFE groups differ. Generally, the northern group has longer burst duration but fewer LFEs per burst, while the southern group has shorter burst duration but more LFEs per burst. The southern group LFE bursts are generally more correlated than the northern group, suggesting more coherent deep fault slip and relatively simpler deep fault structure beneath the locked section of SAF. We also found that the 2004 Parkfield earthquake clearly increased the number of LFEs per burst and average burst duration for both the northern and the southern groups, with a relatively larger effect on the northern group. This could be due to the weakness of northern part of the fault, or the northwesterly rupture direction of the Parkfield earthquake.