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Title: Focal Mechanisms of Intraslab Earthquakes: Insights From Pseudotachylytes in Mantle Units

Devastating seismic events occur mainly in subduction zones, and a significant percentage of them are intraslab earthquakes. The geologic record of these events holds valuable information that needs to be investigated for a comprehensive seismic risk assessment. Here we investigate pseudotachylytes formed in oceanic peridotites and that are interpreted to result from intraslab seismic rupture. Each vein has recorded the seismic slip direction and slip sense of a single coseismic shear‐heating event. The well‐preserved exposures, showing individual veins up to 7 m in length and about 3 cm in width, of Cima di Gratera, in the Schistes Lustrés ophiolitic units of Corsica, offer unparalleled opportunities to investigate intraslab rupture kinematics in mantle rocks. The principal ferromagnetic phase in these rocks is a Ti‐poor magnetite. We use the anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) recorded in pseudotachylyte generation veins (bulk susceptibilities range from 600 to 20,000 × 10−6[SI] volume, withP′ ranging from 1.05 to 2.5) to reconstruct the co‐seismic deformation parameters, that is, fault plane attitude, direction and sense of slip. These new results, internally consistent at the vein level, span across oblate and prolate symmetries and reveal that seismic deformation recorded in these veins was kinematically diverse and included mostly normal mechanisms acting along the same subduction zone. In addition, our investigations show that the magnetic fabric of peridotite‐hosted pseudotachylytes provides key information bearing on the complex dynamics of frictional melts at a unprecedently high spatial resolution.

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DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
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Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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