Articles | Volume 13, issue 7
Research article
31 Jul 2013
Research article |  | 31 Jul 2013

Coulomb static stress changes before and after the 23 October 2011 Van, eastern Turkey, earthquake (MW= 7.1): implications for the earthquake hazard mitigation

M. Utkucu, H. Durmuş, H. Yalçın, E. Budakoğlu, and E. Işık

Abstract. Coulomb stress changes before and after the 23 October 2011 Van, eastern Turkey, earthquake have been analysed using available data related to the background and the aftershock seismicity and the source faults. The coseismic stress changes of the background seismicity had slightly promoted stress over the rupture plane of the 2011 Van earthquake, while it yielded a stress shadow over the Gürpı nar Fault which has been argued to have produced the 7 April 1646 Van earthquake. The stress shadow over the Gürp\i nar fault has become more pronounced following the occurrence of the 2011 Van earthquake, meaning that the repetition of the 1646 Van earthquake has been further suppressed. Spatial distribution and source mechanisms of the 2011 Van earthquake's aftershocks have been utilised to define four clusters with regard to their relative location to the mainshock rupture. In addition, the aftershock sequence covers a much broader area toward the northeast. Correlations between the observed spatial patterns of the aftershocks and the coseismic Coulomb stress changes caused by the mainshock are determined by calculating the stress changes over both optimally oriented and specified fault planes. It is shown here that there is an apparent correlation between the mainshock stress changes and the observed spatial pattern of the aftershock occurrence, demonstrating the usefulness of the stress maps in constraining the likely locations of the upcoming aftershocks and mitigating earthquake hazard.