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Li, Duo; Gabriel, Alice‐Agnes (2024): Linking 3D Long‐Term Slow‐Slip Cycle Models With Rupture Dynamics: The Nucleation of the 2014 M w 7.3 Guerrero, Mexico Earthquake. AGU Advances, 5 (2). ISSN 2576-604X

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Abstract

Slow slip events (SSEs) have been observed in spatial and temporal proximity to megathrust earthquakes in various subduction zones, including the 2014 Mw 7.3 Guerrero, Mexico earthquake which was preceded by a Mw 7.6 SSE. However, the underlying physics connecting SSEs to earthquakes remains elusive. Here, we link 3D slow-slip cycle models with dynamic rupture simulations across the geometrically complex flat-slab Cocos plate boundary. Our physics-based models reproduce key regional geodetic and teleseismic fault slip observations on timescales from decades to seconds. We find that accelerating SSE fronts transiently increase shear stress at the down-dip end of the seismogenic zone, modulated by the complex geometry beneath the Guerrero segment. The shear stresses cast by the migrating fronts of the 2014 Mw 7.6 SSE are significantly larger than those during the three previous episodic SSEs that occurred along the same portion of the megathrust. We show that the SSE transient stresses are large enough to nucleate earthquake dynamic rupture and affect rupture dynamics. However, additional frictional asperities in the seismogenic part of the megathrust are required to explain the observed complexities in the coseismic energy release and static surface displacements of the Guerrero earthquake. We conclude that it is crucial to jointly analyze the long- and short-term interactions and complexities of SSEs and megathrust earthquakes across several (a)seismic cycles accounting for megathrust geometry. Our study has important implications for identifying earthquake precursors and understanding the link between transient and sudden megathrust faulting processes.

Slow slip events (SSEs) have been observed in spatial and temporal proximity to megathrust earthquakes in various subduction zones, including the 2014 M w 7.3 Guerrero, Mexico earthquake which was preceded by a M w 7.6 SSE. However, the underlying physics connecting SSEs to earthquakes remains elusive. Here, we link 3D slow‐slip cycle models with dynamic rupture simulations across the geometrically complex flat‐slab Cocos plate boundary. Our physics‐based models reproduce key regional geodetic and teleseismic fault slip observations on timescales from decades to seconds. We find that accelerating SSE fronts transiently increase shear stress at the down‐dip end of the seismogenic zone, modulated by the complex geometry beneath the Guerrero segment. The shear stresses cast by the migrating fronts of the 2014 M w 7.6 SSE are significantly larger than those during the three previous episodic SSEs that occurred along the same portion of the megathrust. We show that the SSE transient stresses are large enough to nucleate earthquake dynamic rupture and affect rupture dynamics. However, additional frictional asperities in the seismogenic part of the megathrust are required to explain the observed complexities in the coseismic energy release and static surface displacements of the Guerrero earthquake. We conclude that it is crucial to jointly analyze the long‐ and short‐term interactions and complexities of SSEs and megathrust earthquakes across several (a)seismic cycles accounting for megathrust geometry. Our study has important implications for identifying earthquake precursors and understanding the link between transient and sudden megathrust faulting processes.
Plain Language Summary

The 2014 M w 7.3 Guerrero, Mexico earthquake was preceded by an M w 7.6 slow slip event (SSE), a transient of aseismic fault slip, which offers a valuable opportunity to explore the relationship between slow slip and major subduction earthquakes. By modeling both long‐term cycles of slow slip events and dynamic earthquake rupture, we reproduce various measurements from geodetic surveys and seismic recordings. We find that as the migrating front of the 2014 SSE accelerated, it caused additional loading at depth where the earthquake occurred. In this case, the stress levels of the preceding 2014 SSE were notably higher than previous SSEs which appeared in the same fault portion between 2001 and 2014, and may have contributed to initiating the earthquake. Additionally, we find that variations in friction across the megathrust affect the complexity of energy release and surface displacements during the earthquake. By examining the temporary and long‐term interactions between SSEs and earthquakes, we gain important insights into potential earthquake precursors and the processes involved in how faults move. This research holds significant implications for enhancing our understanding of how large earthquakes occur in subduction zones.
Key Points

We present the first 3D linked models of dynamic earthquake rupture and long‐term slow slip cycles along the flat‐slab Cocos plate
The modeled long‐term slow slip cycles and earthquake dynamic rupture capture key observations on timescales from decades to seconds
The transient stress evolution of the long‐term slow slip cycles may have initiated the 2014 Mw 7.3 Guerrero, Mexico earthquake
03 30 2024 04 2024 e2023AV000979 10.1029/2023AV000979 2 10.1002/crossmark_policy agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com true 2023-06-18 2024-02-06 2024-03-30 National Science Foundation https://doi.org/10.13039/100000001 EAR‐2121568 EAR‐2225286 OAC‐2311208 National Aeronautics and Space Administration https://doi.org/10.13039/100000104 80NSSC20K0495 HORIZON EUROPE European Research Council https://doi.org/10.13039/100019180 852992, 101093038, 101058129, 101058518 Leibniz-Rechenzentrum https://doi.org/10.13039/501100019692 pr49ha Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure https://doi.org/10.13039/100000105 2139536 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ 10.1029/2023AV000979 https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2023AV000979 https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1029/2023AV000979 https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1029/2023AV000979 10.1098/rsta.2020.0131 10.1111/j.1365‐246x.2005.02579.x 10.1029/2007JB005082 10.1785/BSSA0750010001 10.1007/s00024‐019‐02199‐z 10.1038/nature07650 10.1038/nature13391 10.1029/96jb00411 10.1038/22739 10.1029/2002jb002198 10.1007/978-3-319-07518-1_1 10.1016/j.epsl.2018.04.062 10.1007/978-3-0348-7182-2_4 10.1029/2019gl083628 10.1029/2020JB020430 10.1016/j.epsl.2019.05.011 10.1029/2020GL087477 dal Zilio L. Lapusta N. &Avouac J.(2020).Unraveling scaling properties of slow‐slip events.https://doi.org/10.1029/2020GL087477 10.1029/2005jb003813 10.1111/j.1365‐246X.2009.04491.x 10.1029/JB084iB05p02161 10.1038/nature02249 10.1038/nature09838 10.1002/2013jb010883 10.1029/2005GL023607 10.1126/science.1060152 10.1111/j.1365‐246X.2006.03120.x 10.1029/JB086iB04p02825 10.1016/j.pepi.2012.04.002 10.1785/0120220066 10.1016/j.epsl.2014.12.051 10.1002/2015gl063685 Gabriel A.‐A. Garagash D. I. Palgunadi K. H. &Mai P. M.(2023).Fault‐size dependent fracture energy explains multi‐scale seismicity and cascading earthquakes.https://doi.org/10.48550/arXiv.2307.15201 10.1093/gji/ggu436 10.1093/gji/ggu203 10.1785/0120150153 10.1038/nature21389 10.1098/rsta.2020.0129 10.1002/2017gl072913 10.1029/2018JB016803 10.1785/0220170222 10.1029/2020JB020577 10.1016/j.tecto.2007.09.008 10.1016/j.jmps.2019.06.007 Sc '14: Proceedings of the international conference for high performance computing Heinecke A. 3 2014 10.25740/hy589fc7561 10.1038/srep28184 10.1029/2011gc003916 10.1029/jb077i020p03796 10.1029/2004jb003591 10.1029/2021JB023519 10.1029/2011JB008395 10.1002/2017GL073681 10.1029/2007JB005553 10.1111/j.1365‐246X.2006.03051.x 10.1126/science.1215141 10.1016/j.epsl.2012.08.015 10.1016/j.epsl.2020.116261 10.1029/2009JB006942 10.1029/96gl03159 10.1145/3458817.3476173 10.1029/2008JB005934 10.1029/2011JB009133 10.1002/2016JB012857 10.1002/2016JB013778 10.1002/2017JB013970 10.1038/383065a0 10.1093/gji/ggz475 10.1029/2007JB004930 10.1029/2008JB006142 10.1029/2010JB007522 10.1002/grl.50298 10.1029/2001gl013238 10.1029/2019GL083148 10.1029/2021JB023382 10.1007/s00024‐010‐0207‐9 10.1785/0220220138 10.1029/2008JB006143 10.1093/gji/ggt074 10.1126/science.aaf1512 10.1007/11847366_4 10.1111/j.1365‐246X.2011.05289.x 10.1098/rspa.1973.0040 10.1029/2011JB008857 10.5194/gmd‐7‐847‐2014 10.1038/ngeo940 10.1029/2008GL035127 10.1029/2021GL092968 10.1029/2019JB018597 10.1038/s41467‐021‐24210‐9 10.1785/0220200089 10.1029/2011JB008801 10.1038/ngeo2817 10.1029/2018gl080812 10.1029/2021JB022005 10.1145/2938615.2938618 10.1029/93JB00191 10.1073/pnas.93.9.3811 10.1126/sciadv.aav3274 10.1029/2005JB003686 10.1029/JB088iB12p10359 10.1126/science.1256074 10.1038/ngeo2490 10.1029/2006RG000208 10.1029/2010JB007449 10.1038/nature05666 10.1038/nature04931 10.1002/2017GL073023 10.1002/2017gl073023 10.1126/science.1167595 10.1029/97jb02716 10.1002/2013JB010615 10.1029/2005jb003644 10.1130/g25752a.1 10.1029/2020RG000713 10.1126/science.aad3108 10.1029/2001jb001681 10.1038/s41561‐021‐00863‐5 10.1093/gji/ggac467 10.1145/3126908.3126948 Uphoff C. Rettenberger S. Bader M. Madden E. H. Ulrich T. Wollherr S. &Gabriel A.‐A.(2017).Extreme scale multi‐physics simulations of the Tsunamigenic 2004 Sumatra megathrust earthquake. [Conference Paper].https://doi.org/10.1145/3126908.3126948 10.1111/j.1365‐246X.2010.04836.x 10.1029/2019JB017539 10.1146/annurev‐earth‐071620‐065605 10.1126/science.1192223 10.1029/2022JB025969 10.1002/2015jb012427 10.1038/s41467‐020‐18598‐z 10.1002/jgrb.50217 10.3389/feart.2021.626844 10.1785/BSSA07206A1881 10.1029/2012JB009468 10.1038/NGEO0843 10.1093/gji/ggaa484 10.1146/annurev.earth.26.1.643 10.1785/0120020082 10.1029/2020GC009477 10.1016/j.epsl.2021.117237 10.1029/2018JB016355 10.1093/gji/ggy213

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