A possible slow-slip-event in the Vrancea seismic active region of Romania

I. A. Moldovan*, A. Apostol, A. Muntean, C. Ghita, V. E. Toader, B. Ambrosius

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


In the last 300 years the window of time for two consecutive large and destructive intermediate-depth earthquakes in Vrancea (Romania) was between 36 and 102 years. An explanation for the larger window of time might be a release of stress produced by a slow-slip-event (SSE). In a vertical sinking slab slightly attached from the Earth’s crust both large earthquakes and SSE are expected to generate a downward movement in the vertical displacements of GPS data. The building-up of stress in the asperity preventing a steady aseismic sinking was expected to be transmitted upwards to faults in the crust and recorded based on a magnetotelluric phase splitting effect. A large stress build-up has been suggested around a fault in the years 2012–2013, but no large earthquake was recorded. We supposed a large SSE in the year 2013–2014 with a duration of 13 months released the accumulated stress. GPS stations in the epicentral region of Vrancea seismic active region supported our suggestion by showing a downward displacement of vertical data obtained for the year 2014. However, the vertical displacements are small and other possible causes than SSE need to be taken into account.

Original languageEnglish
Article number806
Number of pages14
JournalRomanian Journal of Physics
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • biolocation
  • geodynamics
  • seismic
  • slow slip event
  • stress


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