Coupled seismic slip on adjacent oceanic transform faults

Donald W. Forsyth*, Yingjie Yang, Maria Daphne Mangriotis, Yang Shen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


In a four and a half hour period, more than 60 events in an earthquake swarm on the western boundary of the Easter microplate were detected by an array of ocean bottom seismometers. The larger events of the swarm were strike-slip earthquakes located on two transform faults separated by about 25 km. Slip on the faults was closely coupled, with activity alternating back and forth randomly between the two transforms. Coupled seismic activity is usually attributed to triggering by static stress changes or dynamic stresses in propagating shear waves generated by another earthquake, but these earthquakes are too small for either mechanism to be plausible. We suggest that the swarm may have been the seismic manifestation of a larger, primarily aseismic, slip event or slow earthquake involving both transforms, perhaps triggered by dike injection on the Easter-Pacific spreading center.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-21
Number of pages2
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes


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