Fault slip distribution of two June 2000 MW6.5 earthquakes in South Iceland estimated from joint inversion of InSAR and GPS measurements

Rikke Pedersen*, Sigurjon Jonsson, Thóra Árnadóttir, Freysteinn Sigmundsson, Kurt L. Feigl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


We present the first detailed estimates of co-seismic slip distribution on faults in the South Iceland Seismic Zone (SISZ), an area of bookshelf tectonics. We have estimated source parameters for two M W6.5 earthquakes in the SISZ on June 17 and 21, 2000 through a joint inversion of InSAR and GPS measurements. Our preferred model indicates two simple 15 km long, near vertical faults extending from the surface to approximately 10 km depth. The geometry is in good agreement with the aftershock distribution. The dislocations experienced pure right-lateral strike-slip, reaching maxima of 2.6 m and 2.9 m for the June 17 and 21 events, respectively. We find that the distribution of slip with depth may be correlated to crustal layering, with more than 80% of the total geometric moment release occurring in the uppermost 6 km. According to the distributed slip model the middle and upper crust appears to be more apt to generate large displacements than the lower crust. The geodetic estimates of seismic moments are 4.4 × 1018 Nm (MW6.4) and 5.0 × 1018 Nm (MW6.5). The total moment released by the two events equals that generated by several decades of plate motion in the area, but is only a fraction of the moment accumulated in the area since the last major earthquake in 1912.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-502
Number of pages16
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Aug 25 2003


  • Deformation
  • Earthquakes
  • Geodesy
  • Geodynamics
  • Iceland
  • Remote sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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