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Authors: Floyd, M. A.*
Billiris, H.*
Paradissis, D.*
Veis, G.*
Avallone, A.* 
Briole, P.*
McClusky, S.*
Nocquet, J.-M.*
Palamartchouk, K.*
Parsons, B. E.*
England, P. C.*
Title: A new velocity field for Greece: Implications for the kinematics and dynamics of the Aegean
Issue Date: 6-Oct-2010
Series/Report no.: /115 (2010)
DOI: 10.1029/2009JB007040
Keywords: GPS
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.03. Geodesy::04.03.99. General or miscellaneous 
Abstract: A new set of geodetic velocities for Greece and the Aegean, derived from 254 survey-mode and continuous GPS sites, is used to test kinematic and dynamic models for this area of rapid continental deformation. Modeling the kinematics of the Aegean by the rotation of a small number (3–6) of blocks produces RMS misfits of ~5 mm yr−1 in the southern Aegean and western Peloponnese, indicating significant internal strain within these postulated blocks. It is possible to fit the observed velocities to within 2–3 mm yr−1 (RMS) by models that contain 10 or more blocks, but many such models can be found, with widely varying arrangements of blocks, that fit the data equally well provided that the horizontal dimension of those blocks is not larger than 100–200 km. A continuous field of velocity calculated from the GPS velocities by assuming that strain rates are homogeneous on the scale of ~120 km fits the observed velocities to better than 2–3 mm yr−1 (RMS), with systematic misfits, representing more localized strain, confined to a region approximately 100 × 100 km in size around the western Gulf of Corinth. This velocity field accounts for the major active tectonic features of Greece and the Aegean, including the widespread north-south extensional deformation and the distributed strike-slip deformation in the NE Aegean and western Greece. The T axes of earthquakes are aligned with the principal axes of elongation in the geodetic field, major active normal fault systems are perpendicular to those axes, and ~90% of the large earthquakes in this region during the past 120 years took place within the areas in which the geodetic strain rate exceeds 30 nanostrain yr−1. These observations suggest that the faulting within the upper crust of the Aegean region is driven by forces that are coherent over a scale that is significantly greater than 100 km. It is likely that those forces arise primarily from differences in gravitational potential energy within the lithosphere of the region.
Description: An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Copyright (2010) American Geophysical Union.
Appears in Collections:Papers Published / Papers in press

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