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The influence of earthquake gates on surface rupture length
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  • Alba Mar Rodriguez Padilla,
  • Michael Oskin,
  • Emily E. Brodsky,
  • Kelian Dascher-Cousineau,
  • Vanesssa F Herrera,
  • Sophia White
Alba Mar Rodriguez Padilla
University of California Davis

Corresponding Author:arodriguezpadilla@ucdavis.edu

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Michael Oskin
University of California, Davis
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Emily E. Brodsky
University of California, Santa Cruz
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Kelian Dascher-Cousineau
Miller institute, University of California Berkeley
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Vanesssa F Herrera
San Diego State University
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Sophia White
University of California, Los Angeles
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Earthquake magnitude is controlled by the rupture area of the fault network hosting the event. For surface-rupturing large strike-slip earthquakes (~MW6+), ruptures must overcome zones of geometrical complexity along fault networks. These zones, or earthquake gates, act as barriers to rupture propagation. We map step-overs, bends, gaps, splays, and strands from the surface ruptures of 31 strike-slip earthquakes, classifying each population into breached and unbreached groups. We develop a statistical model for passing probability as a function of geometry for each group. Step-overs, and single bends are more predictable earthquake gates than double bends and gaps, and ~20% of ruptures terminate on straight segments. Based on our modeled probabilities, we estimate event likelihood as the joint passing probabilities of breached gates and straight segments along a rupture. Event likelihood decreases inversely with rupture length squared. Our findings support a barrier model as a factor in limiting large earthquake size.
17 Nov 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
20 Nov 2023Published in ESS Open Archive