Current Research in EEPS: Dr. Zachary E. Ross, California Institute of Technology
Evidence for Latent Crustal Fluid Injection Transients in Southern California From Long-Duration Earthquake Swarms
Earthquake swarms are manifestations of aseismic driving processes deep in the crust. We examine the spatiotemporal distribution of aseismic processes in Southern California using a 12-years catalog of swarms derived with deep learning algorithms. In a core portion of the plate boundary region, which is not associated with elevated heat flow, we identify 92 long-duration swarms ranging from 6 months to 7 years that constitute 26.4% of the total seismicity. We find that 53% of the swarms exhibit ultra-slow diffusive patterns with propagating backfronts, consistent with expectations for natural fluid injection processes. The chronology of the swarms indicates that the aseismic driving processes were active at all times during 2008–2020. The observations challenge common views about the nature of swarms, which would characterize any one of these sequences as anomalous. The regional prevalence of these sequences suggests that transient fluid injection processes play a key role in crustal fluid transport.