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Authors: Borghi, Alessandra* 
Aoudia, A.* 
Javed, F.* 
Barzaghi, R.* 
Title: Precursory slow-slip loaded the 2009 L'Aquila earthquake sequence
Issue Date: Jan-2016
Series/Report no.: /205 (2016)
DOI: 10.1093/gji/ggw046
Keywords: Satellite Geodesy
Transient deformation
Creep and deformation
Abstract: Slow-slip events (SSEs) are common at subduction zone faults where large mega earthquakes occur. We report here that one of the best-recorded moderate size continental earthquake, the 2009 April 6 moment magnitude (Mw) 6.3 L'Aquila (Italy) earthquake, was preceded by a 5.9 Mw SSE that originated from the decollement beneath the reactivated normal faulting system. The SSE is identified from a rigorous analysis of continuous GPS stations and occurred on the 12 February and lasted for almost two weeks. It coincided with a burst in the foreshock activity with small repeating earthquakes migrating towards the main-shock hypocentre as well as with a change in the elastic properties of rocks in the fault region. The SSE has caused substantial stress loading at seismogenic depths where the magnitude 4.0 foreshock and Mw 6.3 main shock nucleated. This stress loading is also spatially correlated with the lateral extent of the aftershock sequence.
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