The largest earthquakes on earth have been generated along subduction zones, where an oceanic tectonic plate moves below a continental plate. The seismic cycle associated with those subduction zones is a relatively repetitive process, with slow accumulation of energy during decades to centuries, and its sudden release by a great earthquake. Our knowledge of the physics of the seismic cycle is limited and insufficient to properly assess the seismic potential along these convergent plate margins. Thus, CYCLO seeks to answer three fundamental questions: what are the periods of recurrence of large earthquakes in a particular segment of the Chilean margin? How persistent are the segment limits of large earthquakes? What is the response of the upper plate to the inter plate seismic cycle? Chilean and foreign researchers of the Millennium Nucleus CYCLO aim to quantify deformation processes associated with the seismic cycle along the Chilean margin, in order to explore the mechanisms responsible for large earthquakes and develop probabilistic hazard models. The results will help institutions and companies in local specific models to evaluate the risk associated with future earthquakes and tsunamis in Chile.
Aims at quantifying the recurrence time of earthquakes of different magnitudes along different segments of the Chilean margin, by searching and interpreting historical and paleoseismic archives, including the geologic record of ancient tsunamis.
A formal seismotectonic segmentation model of the Chilean margin will be developped through the integration of historical, geomorphic, geologic, geodetic and geophysical data. The model will serve as input for hazard estimates.
Rates and deformation style of the South American plate will be quantified to explore potential feedbacks between upper-plate faults and the cycle of great interplate earthquakes.
Statistical models to estimate the probability of occurrence of an earthquake of a particular magnitude in a determined segment of the margin will be developped by integrating: earthquake recurrence (L1), the segmentation model (L2), and the response of the continental plate (L3).