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Effects of imparted Coulomb stress changes in the seismicity and cluster of the December 2017 Hojedk (SE Iran) triplet

Abstract

The Hojedk area in the southeastern Iran experienced three earthquakes during 12 days in December 2017. These events occurred in proximity to a region that has experienced several moderate and large events in the past. In this paper, the role of Coulomb stress changes in occurrence of the Hojedk cluster was investigated, and also the produced stress changes due to these events on the surrounding and optimally oriented faults was calculated. Previous earthquakes (events in the Golbaf–Sirch region, the Shahdad slip, and the Dahuiyeh–Zarand earthquake) imparted positive stress changes on the fault planes of the Hojedk earthquakes, especially on the ruptured plane of the first main shock. The Hojedk first main shock triggered the second one by imparting maximum stress changes of about 11.7 MPa on the fault plane of this event, and these two events brought the third main shock to failure by producing more than 6.0 MPa stress changes on its ruptured plane. Among the major active faults in the surrounding area, the middle part of the Nayband fault, northern part of the Golbaf–Sirch fault, and southern part of the Kuhbanan fault received positive stress changes and southen parts of the Ravar and all parts of the Chatrud faults received negative stress changes due to the Hojedk earthquakes. Furthermore, our results for correlation between Coulomb stress changes and seismicity distribution showed that following the Dahuiyeh–Zarand earthquake, the majority of the seismicity located on the positive stress area and Coulomb stress changes have a controlling role on the spatial distribution of seismicity even after a decade. The occurrence of the Hojedk first main shock affects the spatial distribution of aftershocks until the occurrence of the next main hocks. By triggering the next one, the stress patterns change in the area, and seismicity follows from the stress patterns of the last event.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Dr. Nissen for providing variable-slip fault models of the 2017 Hojedk earthquake triplet and allowing us to use them. We are thankful to the International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (in the framework of PERISA Project) and Persian Gulf University for supporting this research work. We also are grateful to the anonymous reviewers for their reviews and comments, which significantly improved this article.

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Correspondence to Hamid Zafarani.

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Maleki Asayesh, B., Zarei, S. & Zafarani, H. Effects of imparted Coulomb stress changes in the seismicity and cluster of the December 2017 Hojedk (SE Iran) triplet. Int J Earth Sci (Geol Rundsch) 109, 2307–2323 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00531-020-01901-0

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Keywords

  • Hojedk triplet
  • Coulomb stress change
  • Aftershocks
  • Seismicity