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Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 173, Issue 1, pp 49–72 | Cite as

An Evaluation of Coulomb Stress Changes from Earthquake Productivity Variations in the Western Gulf of Corinth, Greece

  • K. M. Leptokaropoulos
  • E. E. Papadimitriou
  • B. Orlecka–Sikora
  • V. G. Karakostas
Article

Abstract

Spatial and temporal evolution of the stress field in the seismically active and well-monitored area of the western Gulf of Corinth, Greece, is investigated. The highly accurate and vast regional catalogues were used for inverting seismicity rate changes into stress variation using a rate/state-dependent friction model. After explicitly determining the physical quantities incorporated in the model (characteristic relaxation time, fault constitutive parameters, and reference seismicity rates), we looked for stress changes across space and over time and their possible association with earthquake clustering and fault interactions. We focused our attention on the Efpalio doublet of January 2010 (M = 5.5 and M = 5.4), with a high aftershock productivity, and attempted to reproduce and interpret stress changes prior to and after the initiation of this seismicity burst. The spatial distribution of stress changes was evaluated after smoothing the seismological data by means of a probability density function (PDF). The inverted stress calculations were compared with the calculations derived from an independent approach (elastic dislocation model) and this comparison was quantified. The results of the two methods are in good agreement (up to 80 %) in the far field, with the inversion technique providing more robust results in the near field, where they are more sensitive to the uncertainties of coseismic slip distribution. It is worth mentioning that the stress inversion model proved to be a very sensitive stress meter, able to detect even small stress changes correlated with spatio–temporal earthquake clustering. Data analysis was attempted from 1975 onwards to simulate the stress changes associated with stronger earthquakes over a longer time span. This approach revealed that only M > 5.5 events induce considerable stress variations, although in some cases there was no evidence for such stress changes even after an M > 5.5 earthquake.

Keywords

Seismicity rate changes Rate/state friction Static Coulomb stress changes Gulf of Corinth Efpalio January 2010 seismic sequence 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The stress tensors were calculated using the DIS3D code developed by S. Dunbar, which was later improved by Erikson (1986) and the expressions developed by G. Converse. This work was supported by the THALES Programme of the Ministry of Education of Greece and the European Union within the framework of the project entitled ‘Integrated understanding of Seismicity, using innovative Methodologies of Fracture mechanics along with Earthquake and non-extensive statistical physics—Application to the geodynamic system of the Hellenic Arc. SEISMO FEAR HELLARC’. The GMT system (Wessel and Smith 1998) was used to plot some of the figures. Department of Geophysics, AUTH, contribution number 840.

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Copyright information

© Springer Basel 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. M. Leptokaropoulos
    • 1
    • 2
  • E. E. Papadimitriou
    • 2
  • B. Orlecka–Sikora
    • 1
  • V. G. Karakostas
    • 2
  1. 1.Seismology and Physics of the Earth’s Interior, Institute of GeophysicsPolish Academy of SciencesWarsawPoland
  2. 2.Department of Geophysics, School of GeologyAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece

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