Kelin Wang's research while affiliated with Government of British Columbia, Canada and other places

Publications (20)

Article
The geographic coincidence of the Chile Ridge slab window and the Patagonia ice fields offers a unique opportunity for assessing the effects of slab window rheology on glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA). Mass loss of these ice fields since the Little Ice Age causes rapid but variable crustal uplift, 12–24 mm/yr around the North Patagonia ice field,...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the importance of viscoelasticity in the evolution of crustal stress/strain being widely recognized, the interpretation of interseismic geodetic measurements for assessing earthquake potential is still based overwhelmingly on elastic models. The reasons for this disparity include conflating deformation rates with deformation itself and the...
Article
Full-text available
A sharp thermal contrast between the cold forearc and the hot arc and backarc is considered fundamental to various subduction-zone processes. However, direct observational evidence for this contrast is rather limited. If this contrast is present, it must cause a rheological contrast in the mantle wedge: elastic in the forearc and viscoelastic in th...
Article
Integrating earthquake studies with geodynamics requires knowledge of different modes of permanent deformation of rocks beyond seismic failure. However, upon stepping out of the realm of brittle failure, students find themselves in a zone of terminology conflict. Rocks below the brittle shallow part of the lithosphere are said to be ductile, plasti...
Article
After a great subduction earthquake, viscoelastic stress relaxation causes prolonged seaward motion of inland areas of the upper plate, as was observed around the turn of the century in the area of the 1960 Mw 9.5 Chile earthquake with Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) measurements. However, recent GNSS observations during 2010–2019 indicat...
Article
Full-text available
We determine late Holocene (past 4 kyr) vertical land motion (VLM) rates from relative sea-level observations along the coastline of central North America and compare these to contemporary (decadal-scale) rates inferred from GPS data. The residual rates (contemporary minus late Holocene) indicate uplift at most locations which likely reflects short...
Article
Full-text available
In southern Kurile, interseismic contraction observed with Global Navigation Satellite Systems is faster in the volcanic arc than in the forearc. Here, we use a viscoelastic finite element model to investigate the physical process responsible for the localized deformation. On the basis of thermal and seismic observations that suggest the volcanic a...
Article
The redistribution of heat by fluid circulation in subducting igneous crust generates thermal anomalies that can affect the alteration of material both within a subduction zone and in the incoming plate prior to subduction. This hydrothermal circulation mines heat from subducted crust and transports it seaward, resulting in anomalously high tempera...
Article
Full-text available
In a viscoelastic Earth, stresses slowly built up due to fault locking are relaxed concurrently during the entire interseismic period. This interseismic stress relaxation causes crustal deformation much farther away from the locked fault than can be explained using elastic models that neglect the relaxation. Here we develop a viscoelastic geodetic...
Article
The oceanic crust that enters a subduction zone is generally recycled to great depth. In rare and punctuated episodes, however, blueschists and eclogites derived from subducted oceanic crust are exhumed. Compilations of the maximum pressure-temperature conditions in exhumed rocks indicate significantly warmer conditions than those predicted by ther...
Article
Large rupture of the shallowest portion of subduction thrust faults (megathrusts), such as during the 2011 moment magnitude (Mw) 9.0 Tohoku-oki earthquake, can generate the most devastating tsunamis. However, it remains unclear whether such trench-breaching rupture is typical of other subduction earthquakes. The main difficulty in answering this qu...
Article
Episodic tremor and accompanying slow slip, together called ETS, is most often observed in subduction zones of young and warm subducting slabs. ETS should help us to understand the mechanics of subduction megathrusts, but its mechanism is still unclear. It is commonly assumed that ETS represents a transition from seismic to aseismic behaviour of th...
Article
The closure of the “L’Aquila Trial” has prompted the scientific community to revisit the question of what lessons have been learned. An issue of concern is the rise of short‐term forecasting in the aftermath of the earthquake that triggered the trial, such as using patterns of small earthquakes to provide probabilistic warnings of occurrence of dam...
Article
Because of a combination of new observational tools and a flurry of large megathrust earthquakes, tremendous progress has been made in recent years towards understanding the process of great subduction earthquakes at Cascadia and other subduction zones around the world. This review article attempts to clarify some of widely used geodynamic concepts...
Article
Static stress drop distribution and its average value over the rupture area contain important information on the mechanics of large earthquakes. Here we derive static stress drop distributions from 40 published rupture models for the 2011 Mw 9 Tohoku-oki earthquake that are based on various multidisciplinary observations. Average stress drop value...
Article
Afterslip is commonly thought to be the controlling process in postseismic deformation immediately following a great megathrust earthquake and is usually inferred from geodetic observations using purely elastic models. However, observed motion reversal of the near-trench area right after the 2011 Mw 9 Tohoku-oki earthquake demonstrates the dominanc...
Article
Operational earthquake forecasting (OEF) is the practice of continual updating and dissemination of physics‐based short‐term (days) probabilities for the occurrence of damaging earthquakes. Although fully appreciating the noble intention of OEF and the scientific merits of the seismicity analyses it employs, we are concerned that its wide promotion...

Citations

... Mantle viscosity structure strongly controls GIA, which in turn responds to spatial and temporal ice-mass variations. High geodetic uplift rates around the NPI and SPI (≥4 cm/yr) have been attributed to anomalous mantle viscosities lower than 2 × 10 18 Pa s (Ivins & James, 2004;Lange et al., 2014;Richter et al., 2016), and recent GIA models suggest that reproducing observed uplift rates requires either mantle viscosities that are significantly lower beneath the NPI compared to the SPI or more ice mass loss in the NPI than previously estimated (Lange et al., 2014;Russo et al., 2022). The observed location of the slowest part of the seismic velocity anomaly Figure 1. ...
... These zones mark the places of locally immobile areas of the earth's surface, typical for the locked zones of seismogenic faults [Kaftan, 2021;. The identification of slip deficit on seismogenic faults is done by dif ferent authors in order to determine the most seismically hazardous areas [Jiang et al., 2015;Wang et al., 2021]. Observations of the deformation process over the years and decades before strong seismic events show high stress regions -probable places expected strong crustal earthquakes whose come out to the daylight surface. ...
... The same applies to textbooks that deal with the rheology of all types of solids (e.g., Courtney, 2000;Malkin and Isayev, 2017). In a recent contribution, Wang (2021) discusses, among other things, which term to use to refer to the macroscopic behavior of the aseismic lithosphere, raising important points on the problem of establishing a consistent terminology in Earth sciences. Unfortunately, Wang (2021) favors the term viscous over others to refer to the overall rheology of the middle and lower crust through lithospheric-scale shear zones. ...
... We pay particular interest to the key differences in the model-predicted deformation patterns from the two end-member models: the subduction model that has an elastic slab penetrating into the viscoelastic mantle ( Figure 1a) and the traditional layered model that has an elastic plate overriding the viscoelastic substrate ( Figure 1b). For a fairer comparison to the layered models, the stiff part of mantle wedge corner, that is, the so-called cold nose (Wada & Wang, 2009), is ignored in our simple subduction model, which may play a role in vertical deformation during the postseismic phase (Luo & Wang, 2021). ...
... 2B and 2C). Previous modeling (Wang et al., 2007;Moreno et al., 2011;Luo et al., 2020) suggested that vertical deformation due to megathrust earthquake cycles is negligibly small at the NPI and SPI relative to GIA deformation. To test the hypothesis stated in the Introduction, we allowed two areas of uniform viscosity within the slab window with a 1°-wide zone of transition in between (Figs. 2B and 2C). ...
... This is a challenge for accurately estimating ∆TWS in California due to the proximity of the Pacific/North American Plate boundary. Uplift of the Sierra Nevada Mountains (Hammond et al., 2016), San Bernardino mountains (Smith-Konter et al., 2014), Coastal Ranges (Hammond et al., 2016), and Transverse Ranges (Johnson et al., 2020) is ongoing, as well as uplift in northern California associated with the Cascadia Subduction Zone (Yousefi et al., 2020), tectonic subsidence and uplift in Southern California (Johnson et al., 2020;Smith-Konter et al., 2014), postseismic effects from large earthquakes including the 2010 M W 7.2 El Mayor-Cucapah earthquake in Southern California (Guns & Bennett, 2020;Rollins et al., 2015), and interseismic deformation, particularly along the San Andreas Fault (e.g., Smith-Konter et al., 2014). All aforementioned deformation signals cannot be easily differentiated from hydrologic loading signals. ...
... To prevent plate rupture during the subduction process, we also set a 20-km-thick pure viscous layer at a depth of 30 km in the subducting oceanic plate ( Figure 2B) (Stegman et al., 2010;Schellart and Moresi, 2013). By systematically comparing their model results with interseismic deformation, Itoh et al. (2019) suggested that the Southern Kurile arc and its back-arc areas are weak. Here, we set the initial value of ε p to 0.2 to reflect the weak rheology in the back-arc area. ...
... During subduction, hydrothermal circulation may persist within the uppermost basaltic crust, transporting heat trenchward from deeper levels in the subduction zone (e.g., Spinelli and Wang, 2008). The thermal effects of hydrothermal circulation within oceanic crustal aquifers during subduction has been investigated by Wang (2008, 2009), Harris et al. (2010Harris et al. ( , 2017, Rotman and Spinelli (2013), and Spinelli et al. (2018), among others. In these models, the redistribution of heat by hydrothermal circulation is simulated by increasing the thermal conductivity of a thin (~600 m) layer at the top of the oceanic crust representing the high-permeability (~10 −9 m 2 ) oceanic crustal aquifer. ...
... To focus on deformation processes at different earthquake-cycle phase, we follow the previous studies and use independent models to simulate viscoelastic interseismic (e.g., Li et al., 2015;Li, Wang, et al., 2018) and viscoelastic postseismic deformation (e.g., Pollitz et al., 2008), respectively. That is, the interseismic models involve no postseismic processes, and vice versa. ...
... Due to its setup, the thermal modelling applied to the shallow domain (0-50 km) does not account for additional, nonconductive heat transport processes acting close to or within the subduction interface, including mantle-wedge convection and frictional shear heating [14,130,[141][142][143][144][145]. For the case of viscous flow in the mantle wedge, 2D thermokinematic models of Central Chile calibrated with heat flow observations [127] indicate that this process only starts to dominate at depths larger than 80 km, which is below our forward modelled domain. ...