We observe postseismic deformation on two spatiotemporal scales following Mw = 6.5 earthquakes in the south Iceland seismic zone on 17 and 21 June 2000. We see a rapidly decaying deformation transient lasting no more than 2 months and extending about 5 km away from the two main shock ruptures. This local, month-scale transient is captured by several radar interferograms and is also observed at a few campaign GPS sites located near the faults. A slower transient with a characteristic timescale of about a year is detected only by GPS measurements. The month-scale deformation pattern has been explained by poroelastic rebound due to postearthquake pore pressure changes. In contrast, the year-scale deformation can be explained by either afterslip at 8-14 km depth or viscoelastic relaxation of the lower crust and upper mantle in response to the coseismic stress changes. The optimal viscoelastic models have lower crustal viscosities of 0.5-1 × 1019 Pa s and upper mantle viscosity of ∼3 × 1018 Pa s. Because of the limitations of our GPS campaign data, we consider both afterslip and viscoelastic relaxation as plausible mechanisms explaining the deformation field. Both types of postseismic deformation models suggest that the areas of large coseismic stress increase east of the 17 June and west of the 21 June ruptures continue to be loaded by the postseismic deformation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geochemistry and Petrology
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Space and Planetary Science