Global Induced Stress Field From Large Earthquakes Since 1900 and Chained Earthquake Occurrence

Junhyung Lee, Tae Kyung Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Megathrust earthquake occurrence is dependent on the physical properties and stress environments of convergent plate boundaries. Local and regional earthquakes may modulate the stress environment fractionally that affects the nucleation of next earthquakes. This study investigates the influence of precedent earthquakes on the induction of forthcoming earthquakes around the circum-Pacific plate boundaries. We assess the global stress perturbation induced by 1,636 earthquakes combining 1,457 earthquakes with moment magnitudes greater than or equal to (Formula presented.) 7.0 and 179 earthquakes with moment magnitudes (Formula presented.) 6.4–6.9 in 1900–2020. We stack the induced Coulomb stress changes for optimally oriented reverse faults. The circum-Pacific region is divided by eight subregions. The cumulative Coulomb stress changes reach up to the order of tens to hundreds of bar at the convergent plate boundaries. Descendant large earthquakes dominantly occurred in the regions with large lateral gradients of cumulative Coulomb stress changes induced by precedent earthquakes. The cumulative Coulomb stress changes for 120 years are comparable among subduction zones. The seismicity in subduction zones may depend on the strength of the stress field as well as the lateral gradient in the stress field. The instability and inhomogeneity in stress fields may play a major role in the nucleation of megathrust earthquakes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2021GC009927
JournalGeochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Aug

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Drs. Maureen Long (editor), Chung‐Han Chan (reviewer), and an anonymous reviewer for constructive review comments. This work was supported by the Korea Meteorological Administration Research and Development Program under grant KMI2018‐02910. Additionally, this research was partly supported by the Basic Science Research Program of National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF‐2017R1A6A1A07015374, NRF‐2018R1D1A1A09083446).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021. The Authors.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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