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Variation of Interplate Fault Zone Properties with Depth in the Japan Subduction Zone

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Science  21 Aug 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5380, pp. 1175-1178
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5380.1175

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Abstract

The depth dependence of physical properties along the Japan subduction zone interface was explored using teleseismic recordings of earthquake signals. Broadband body waves were inverted to determine the duration of rupture and source depth for 40 interplate thrust earthquakes located offshore of Honshu between 1989 and 1995. After scaling for differences in seismic moment, there is a systematic decrease in rupture duration with increasing depth along the subducting plate interface. This indicates increases in rupture velocity or stress drop with depth, likely related to variation in rigidity of sediments on the megathrust.

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