Earthquakes can be triggered by local changes in the stress field (static triggering1,2,3,4,5,6,7) due to nearby earthquakes or by stresses caused by the passage of surface (Rayleigh and Love) waves from a remote, large earthquake (dynamic triggering8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18). However, the mechanism, frequency, controlling factors and the global extent of dynamic triggering are yet to be fully understood. Because Rayleigh waves involve compressional and dilatational particle motion (volumetric changes) as well as shearing, whereas Love waves only involve shearing, triggering by either wave type implies fundamentally different physical mechanisms. Here, we analyse broadband seismograms from over 500 globally distributed stations and use an automated approach to systematically identify small triggered earthquakes—the low-amplitude signals of such earthquakes would normally be masked by high-amplitude surface waves. Our analysis reveals that out of 15 earthquakes studied of magnitude (M) greater than 7.0 that occurred after 1990, 12 are associated with significant increases in the detection of smaller earthquakes during the passage of both the Love and Rayleigh waves. We conclude that dynamic triggering is a ubiquitous phenomenon that is independent of the tectonic environment of the main earthquake or the triggered event.
Subscribe to Journal
Get full journal access for 1 year
only $15.58 per issue
All prices are NET prices.
VAT will be added later in the checkout.
Rent or Buy article
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
King, G. C. P., Stein, R. S. & Lin, J. Static stress changes and the triggering of earthquakes. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am. 84, 935–953 (1994).
Stein, R. S., King, G. C. P. & Lin, J. Stress triggering of the 1994 M=6.7 Northridge, California, earthquake by its predecessors. Science 265, 1432–1435 (1994).
Harris, R. A., Simpson, R. W. & Reasenberg, P. A. Influence of static stress changes on earthquake locations in southern California. Nature 375, 221–224 (1995).
Harris, R. A. & Simpson, R. W. In the shadow of 1857—The effect of the great Ft. Tejon earthquake on subsequent earthquakes in southern California. Geophys. Res. Lett. 23, 229–232 (1996).
Harris, R. A. Introduction to special section: Stress triggers, stress shadows, and implications for seismic hazard. J. Geophys. Res. 103, 24347–24358 (1998).
Parsons, T. Global Omori law decay of triggered earthquakes: Large aftershocks outside the classical aftershock zone. J. Geophys. Res. 107, doi:10.1029/2001JB000646 (2002).
Lin, J. & Stein, R. S. Stress triggering in thrust and subduction earthquakes and stress interaction between the southern San Andreas and nearby thrust and strike-slip faults. J. Geophys. Res. 109, doi:10.1029/2003JB002607 (2004).
West, M., Sanchez, J. J. & McNutt, S. R. Periodically triggered seismicity at Mount Wrangell, Alaska, after the Sumatra earthquake. Science 308, 1144–1146 (2005).
Anderson, J. G. et al. Seismicity in the western Great Basin apparently triggered by the Landers, California earthquake, 28 June 1992. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am. 84, 863–891 (1994).
Hill, D. P. et al. Seismicity in the western United States remotely triggered by the M 7.4 Landers, California, earthquake of June 28, 1992. Science 260, 1617–1623 (1993).
Brodsky, E. E., Karakostas, V. & Kanamori, H. A new observation of dynamically triggered regional seismicity: earthquakes in Greece following the August, 1999 Izmit, Turkey earthquake. Geophys. Res. Lett. 27, 2741–2744 (2000).
Gomberg, J., Bodin, P., Larson, K. & Dragert, H. Earthquake nucleation by transient deformations caused by the M=7.9 Denali, Alaska, earthquake. Nature 427, 621–624 (2004).
Pankow, K. L., Arabasz, W. J., Pechmann, J. C. & Nava, S. J. Triggered seismicity in Utah from the November 3, 2002, Denali Fault earthquake. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am. 94, S332–S347 (2004).
Prejean, S. G. et al. Remotely triggered seismicity on the United States west coast following the M 7.9 Denali Fault earthquake. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am. 94, S348–S359 (2004).
Husen, S., Wiemer, S. & Smith, R. B. Remotely triggered seismicity in the Yellowstone National Park region by the 2002 Mw=7.9 Denali Fault Earthquake, Alaska. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am. 94, S317–S331 (2004).
Eberhart-Phillips, D. et al. The 2002 Denali fault earthquake, Alaska: A large magnitude, slip-partitioned event. Science 300, 1113–1118 (2003).
Husker, A. L. & Brodsky, E. E. Seismicity in Idaho and Montana triggered by the Denali Fault Earthquake: A window into the geologic context for seismic triggering. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am. 94, S310–S316 (2004).
Hill, D. P. Dynamic stresses, Coulomb failure, and remote triggering. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am. 98, 66–92 (2008).
Velasco, A. A., Ammon, C. J., Farrell, J. & Pankow, K. Rupture directivity of the November 3, 2002 Denali Fault earthquake determined from surface waves. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am. 94, S293–S299 (2004).
Velasco, A. A., Ammon, C. J. & Lay, T. Empirical Green function deconvolutions of broadband surface waves: Rupture directivity of the 1992 Landers, California (Mw=7.3) earthquake. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am. 84, 735–750 (1994).
Li, X., Cormier, V. F. & Toksöz, M. N. Complex source process of the 17 August 1999 Izmit, Turkey, earthquake. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am. 92, 267–277 (2002).
Steck, L., Velasco, A. A., Cogbill, A. H. & Patton, H. J. Improving regional seismic event location in China. Pure Appl. Geophys. 158, 211–240 (2001).
Rubenstein, J. L. et al. Non-volcanic tremor driven by large transient shear stresses. Nature 448, 579–582 (2007).
Gomberg, J. & Johnson, P. Dynamic triggering of earthquakes. Nature 437, 830 (2005).
S.H. was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (GEO 0503610). The facilities of the IRIS Data Management System, and specifically the IRIS DMC, were used to access the waveform data and metadata required in this study. The IRIS Data Management System is funded through the NSF and specifically the GEO Directorate through the Instrumentation and Facilities Program of the NSF under Cooperative Agreement EAR-0552316. Comments by D. Kilb significantly improved this manuscript.
About this article
Cite this article
Velasco, A., Hernandez, S., Parsons, T. et al. Global ubiquity of dynamic earthquake triggering. Nature Geosci 1, 375–379 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo204
Scientific Reports (2020)
Geophysical Research Letters (2020)
Seismological Research Letters (2020)
Seismological Research Letters (2019)
Remote Dynamic Triggering of Earthquakes in Three Unconventional Canadian Hydrocarbon Regions Based on a Multiple‐Station Matched‐Filter Approach
Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (2019)