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Geophysical Journal International



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Earthquake prediction, Tsunami forecasting, Earthquake hazard analysis, Earthquake magnitude


We use continuous and campaign measurements from 215 GPS sites in northern Central America and southern Mexico to estimate coseismic and afterslip solutions for the 2009 Mw = 7.3 Swan Islands fault strike-slip earthquake and the 2012 Mw = 7.3 El Salvador and Mw = 7.4 Guatemala thrust-faulting earthquakes on the Middle America trench. Our simultaneous, time-dependent inversion of more than 350 000 daily GPS site positions gives the first jointly consistent estimates of the coseismic slips for all three earthquakes, their combined time-dependent post-seismic effects and secular station velocities corrected for both the coseismic and post-seismic deformation. Our geodetic slip solutions for all three earthquakes agree with previous estimates that were derived via static coseismic-offset modelling. Our time-dependent model, which attributes all transient post-seismic deformation to earthquake afterslip, fits nearly all of the continuous GPS site position time-series within their severalmillimetre position noise. Afterslip moments for the three earthquakes range from 35 to 140 per cent of the geodetic coseismic moments, with the largest afterslip estimated for the 2012 El Salvador earthquake along the weakly coupled El Salvador trench segment. Forward modelling of viscoelastic deformation triggered by all three earthquakes for a range of assumed mantle and lower crustal viscosities suggests that it accounts for under 20 per cent of the observed post-seismic deformation and possibly under 10 per cent.


© The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society.



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