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Title: New GNSS and Geological Data From the Indo‐Burman Subduction Zone Indicate Active Convergence on Both a Locked Megathrust and the Kabaw Fault

The Indo‐Burma subduction zone is a highly oblique subduction system where the Indian plate is converging with the Eurasian plate. How strain is partitioned between the Indo‐Burma interface and upper plate Kabaw Fault, and whether the megathrust is a locked and active zone of convergence that can generate great earthquakes are ongoing debates. Here, we use data from a total of 68 Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) stations, including newly installed stations across the Kabaw Fault and compute an updated horizontal and vertical GNSS velocity field. We correct vertical rates for fluctuating seasonal signals by accounting for the elastic response of monsoon water on the crust. We model the geodetic data by inverting for 11,000 planar and non‐planar megathrust fault geometries and two geologically viable structural interpretations of the Kabaw Fault that we construct from field geological data, considering a basin‐scale wedge‐fault and a crustal‐scale reverse fault. We demonstrate that the Indo‐Burma megathrust is locked, converging at a rate ofmm/yr, and capable of hosting >8.2Mwmegathrust events. We also show that the Kabaw Fault is locked and accommodating strike‐slip motion at a rate ofmm/yr and converging at a rate ofmm/yr. Our interpretation of the geological, geophysical, and geodetic datasets indicates the Kabaw Fault is a crustal‐scale structure that actively absorbs a portion of the convergence previously ascribed to the Indo‐Burma megathrust. This reveals a previously unrecognized seismic hazard associated with the Kabaw Fault and slightly reduces the estimated hazard posed by megathrust earthquakes in the region.

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