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Title: Vertical Postseismic Deformation of the 2019 Ridgecrest Earthquake Sequence

The 2019 Ridgecrest conjugate Mw6.4 and Mw7.1 events resulted in several meters of strike‐slip and dip‐slip along an intricate rupture, extending from the surface down to 15 km. Now with >2 years of post‐rupture observations, we utilize these results to better understand vertical postseismic deformation from the Ridgecrest sequence and illuminate the emerging significance of vertical earthquake cycle deformation data. We determine the cumulative vertical displacement observed by the continuous GNSS network since Ridgecrest, which requires additional time series analyses to adequately resolve vertical deformation compared to the horizontal. Using a Maxwell‐type viscoelastic relaxation model, with a best fit time‐averaged asthenosphere viscosity of 4e17 Pa·s and a laterally heterogeneous lithosphere, we find that viscoelastic relaxation accounts for a majority of the cumulative vertical deformation at Ridgecrest and strongly controls far‐field observations in all north‐east‐up components. The viscoelastic model alone generally underpredicts deformation from GNSS and the remaining nonviscoelastic displacement is most prominent in the horizontal near‐field (−16 to 19 mm), revealing a deformation pattern matching the coseismic observations. This suggests that multiple deformation mechanisms are contributing to Ridgecrest's postseismic displacement, where afterslip likely dominates the near‐field while viscoelastic relaxation controls the far‐field. Similar deformation at individual GNSS stations has been observed for past earthquakes and additionally reveals long‐term transient viscosity over several years. Moreover, the greater temporal and spatial resolution of the GNSS array for Ridgecrest will help resolve the evolution of deformation for the entire network of observations as regional postseismic deformation persists for the next several years.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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