Apparent Stress Variations at the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica, Influenced by Subducted Bathymetric Features

Apparent Stress Variations at the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica, Influenced by Subducted Bathymetric Features Median apparent stress values for events near the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica in 0.1 x 0.1 degree grids. The size of the red circle indicates the median value of apparent stress for events within that grid. Numbers of events used to compute the median within each grid are noted. Yellow triangles are land and ocean bottom seismometers used in this study. A range of apparent stress values was observed near the Osa Peninsula with concentrations of high apparent stress indicative of strong frictional behavior along the subduction interface due to bathymetric features at depth.
Subducted bathymetric features such as seamounts have been modeled as areas of strong frictional behavior between the sub- ducting and overriding plates. These models describe subducted features as "sticking" to the overriding plate, thereby increasing stress at the feature until slip occurs. On the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, a number of bathymetric features enter the Middle America Trench near the Osa Peninsula (Figure 1). Using data collected and processed through a PASSCAL experiment from six land seismometers and data from twelve ocean bottom seismometers, aftershocks of the 1999 6.9 Mw Quepos thrust-faulting event were analyzed to investigate the influence subducted features have on earthquake rupture near the Osa Peninsula. Apparent stress values between 0.1 MPa and 2.5 MPa were found for 114 aftershocks using seismic coda techniques. An average apparent stress value two times higher than the global average apparent stress value for thrust-faulting events at oceanic subduction zones was found for the analyzed events. The range of apparent stress values observed near the Osa Peninsula, and high average value, suggests areas of stress concentration along the subduction interface as a result of strong frictional behavior due to bathymetric features at depth.
</p><p>Moyer, P.A., S.L. Bilek, and W.S. Phillips (2009), Apparent stress variations at the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica, and the role of subducting topography, EOS Trans AGU, 90(52), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract T23B-1892.
</p><p>Acknowledgements: We gratefully acknowledge NSF funding for this project NSF-OCE 0751610 to SLB.</p>


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