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Publisher: Wiley on behalf of the American Geophysical Union
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: sub-02
This is the final version of the article, originally published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. It is also available from Wiley at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jgrb.50367/abstract. © 2013. American Geophysical Union The Dzhungarian strike-slip fault of Central Asia is one of a series of long, NW-SE right-lateral strike-slip faults that are characteristic of the northern Tien Shan region and extends over 300 km from the high mountains into the Kazakh Platform. Our field-based and satellite observations reveal that the Dzhungarian fault can be characterized by three 100 km long sections based on variation in strike direction. Through morphological analysis of offset streams and alluvial fans, and through optically stimulated luminescence dating, we find that the Dzhungarian fault has a minimum average late Quaternary slip rate of 2.2 ± 0.8 mm/yr and accommodates N-S shortening related to the India-Eurasia collision. This shortening may also be partly accommodated by counterclockwise rotation about a vertical axis. Evidence for a possible paleo-earthquake rupture indicates that earthquakes up to at least Mw 7 can be associated with just the partitioned component of reverse slip on segments of the central section of the fault up to 30 km long. An event rupturing longer sections of the Dzhungarian fault has the potential to generate greater magnitude earthquakes (Mw 8); however, long time periods (e.g., thousands of years) are expected in order to accumulate enough strain to generate such earthquakes. We thank the Royal Society International Travel Grant, Mike Coward Fund of the Geological Society of London, Percy Sladen Fund of the Linnean Society, The Gilchrist Educational Trust, and the Earth and Space Foundation for their support in funding this project. GEC’s doctoral studentship is funded by the National Environmental Research Council through NCEO, COMET, and the NERC-ESRC funded Earthquakes without Frontiers (EWF) Project. RTW is supported by a University Research Fellowship awarded by the Royal Society.
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