We examine interseismic coupling of the Manila subduction zone and fault activity in the Luzon area using a block model constrained by GPS data collected from 1998 to 2015. Estimated long-term slip rates along the Manila subduction zone show a gradual southward decrease from 90–100 mm/yr at the northwest tip of Luzon to 65–80 mm/yr at the southern portion of the Manila Trench. We provide two block models (models A and B) to illustrate possible realizations of coupling along the Manila Trench, which may be used to infer future earthquake rupture scenarios. Model A shows a low coupling ratio of 0.34 offshore western Luzon and continuous creeping on the plate interface at latitudes 18–19°N. Model B includes the North Luzon Trough Fault and shows prevalent coupling on the plate interface with a coupling ratio of 0.48. Both models fit GPS velocities well, although they have significantly different tectonic implications. The accumulated strain along the Manila subduction zone at latitudes 15–19°N could be balanced by earthquakes with composite magnitudes of Mw 8.8–9.2, assuming recurrence intervals of 500–1000 years. GPS observations are consistent with full locking of the majority of active faults in Luzon to a depth of 20 km. Inferred moments of large inland earthquakes in Luzon fall in the range of Mw 6.9–7.6 assuming a recurrence interval of 100 years.
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Hsu, Ya-Ju; Yu, Shui-Beih; Loveless, John P.; Bacolcol, Teresito; Solidum, Renato; Luis Jr., Artemio; Pelicano, Alfie; and Woessner, Jochen, "Interseismic Deformation and Moment Deficit Along the Manila Subduction Zone and the Philippine Fault System" (2016). Geosciences: Faculty Publications, Smith College, Northampton, MA.